Butterfly Conservation and the Countryside Council for Wales have been running the Mynydd Mawr project to improve marsh fritillary
habitat in Carmarthenshire for the past seven years, helping landowners to sensitively manage their wet meadows for the species.
The marsh fritillary
, also known by its Latin name of Euphydryas aurinia, can vary largely in appearance: the wing pattern can range from orange with thin greyish markings, to orange, red and cream with heavy black markings.
In 2002, a large marsh fritillary
colony was reported from the far north end of the NNR.
To reverse this trend, the commission is working on a rolling programme of coppicing and clearance work to make sure that open habitats are created and maintained in Cannock Forest, a hotspot for the small pearlbordered fritillary
The pearl-bordered fritillary
gets its name from the series of several "pearls" that run along the outside edge of the underside of its wings.
"Green hairstreak caterpillars feed on bilberry, which still survives below the bracken, and small pearl-bordered fritillary
caterpillars feed on marsh violets in the wet fen areas which are slowly drying out and being invaded by bracken."
A feature regarded as unfavourable could mean a declining population of marsh fritillary
butterfly or shrinking peat bog.
The Dark Green Fritillary
butterfly has never been recorded in the Huddersfield area - until now!
The small pearl-bordered fritillary
butterfly was once widespread on the upland fringes of Durham but in recent decades it has all but vanished due to drainage, ploughing, afforestation and lack of site management.
Some, such as the High Brown Fritillary
, the Wood White, the Pearl Bordered Fritillary
and the Duke of Burgundy, risk extinction.
Other species, including the marsh fritillary
butterfly, should be favoured by the warmer climate but may struggle to find suitable habitats.
Professor Ilkka Hanski, from the University of Helsinki in Finland, has spent the past 15 years researching the Glanville fritillary