Is Your Garden Home To A Rare Beauty?

04-Jun-2015

 


People living in the Mourne area are being asked to help Butterfly Conservation find one of Ireland’s rarest moths. 

Until last year, the Beautiful Brocade hadn’t been seen in Northern Ireland for more than 120 years, so the wildlife charity has teamed up with the Mourne Mountains Landscape Partnership to find out more about this moth and its relationship with the area. They’re asking people if moth traps can be placed in their gardens or any land they own over the weekend of the 14th and 15th of June and the week of the June 21, in the hope the moth will be found. Butterfly Conservation’s Regional Officer for Northern Ireland, Catherine Bertrand said: “The Beautiful Brocade is one of the Mournes most mysterious moths, not known from any other location in the north. As this moth turned up unexpectedly last year in a garden, we are hopeful that more garden trapping will help us learn more about the range and ecology of this creature, so we can better conserve it in the future. 
“If you live north of the mountains around Castlewellan, Kilcoo and Bryansford and would like to find out what moths are around you, please contact us to arrange dates we can visit to set up the traps.” 
The Beautiful Brocade is pinkish grey in colour with a marbled appearance and can be identified by a white diagonal band crossing its forewing, which resembles a ‘V’ shape when at rest. This is the only marking which distinguishes it from similar species such as the Pale-shouldered Brocade and the Dog’s Tooth moth.  Found in woodland, moorland or heathland areas, the moth will be on the wing throughout June and July.  Catherine added: “Moth trapping does not harm the moths in any way and involves putting out a light trap overnight. This is a small box attached to a light, specially designed to draw in moths so that we can identify, record and release them the next morning. Moths in June come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colours and we hope to find many other interesting species too.”  Siobhan Thompson from the Mourne Landscape Partnership said: “This is all about connecting local communities with their natural heritage and the wildlife around them. Moth trapping is a fun and interactive way of getting closer to the creatures that are around us all the time but many of us never see.” 

If you would be happy to have a moth trap set up in your garden on June 14-15 or throughout the week starting June 21, please contact Siobhan Thompson on: 028 437 67391 or email: siobhan.thompson@mourne.co.uk.

Contacts For further pictures or interviews, please contact Butterfly Conservation’s Regional Officer Catherine Bertrand on 07584 597 690 or email: cbertrand@butterfly-conservation.org
Alternatively contact the Press Office on 01929 406037.