Course: Identifying Distinctive Butterflies (Online)

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Friday 26th August 2022 - can be completed in your own time until the 30th November 2022

Cost: Free

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

Butterflies are a UK wildlife favourite, many species having bold and beautiful colour patterns.

Each year the public and volunteers across the country snap photos of butterflies they encounter and tell others what they’ve seen. Scientists and wildlife conservationists rely on data on butterfly sightings shared by the public and volunteers across the UK. We’re on a mission to introduce more people to the UK’s most recognisable butterflies

Complete our free online course, produced with butterfly experts, to learn and gain certified butterfly ID skills. By getting to know the names of butterflies you can better appreciate the wildlife in your area, contribute better data to citizen science surveys and take first steps to becoming an ID volunteer!

This new ID course is for absolute beginners to butterfly spotting and naming. We’ll focus on a handful of the most distinctive and commonly seen butterflies. You will learn the appearance and characteristics of these butterflies, how to spot them and tell them apart from similar kinds using photographs.

The course is completely free and you get a certificate for passing. After working through the self-study content and quizzes in your own time, you will then complete an automatically-graded identification photo test. Learners can attend an optional live webinar with the course tutors delivered via Zoom on Monday 05 Sep 2022 from 13.00 to 13:45. The webinar will be recorded and made available to learners that are unavailable for the live webinar.

This course was developed by the Field Studies Council and Butterfly Conservation as part of the Supporting Science project.

Butterfly Conservation is the UK charity dedicated to saving butterflies and moths. Butterflies and moths matter because they are key indicators of the health of our environment. They connect us to nature and contribute to our well-being. Butterfly Conservation improves landscapes for butterflies and moths, creating a better environment for us all. Our research provides advice on how to conserve and restore habitats. We run projects to protect more than 100 threatened species and we are involved in conserving hundreds of sites and reserves.

Supporting Science is a new project that will help support both new and established recorders of moths and butterflies. It will provide training and new web-based tools to progress both the collection and verification of data. The project will also help engage a much wider and diverse range of people in collecting and submitting information about their local butterfly and moth populations. Supporting Science has been made possible thanks to DCMS and National Lottery funding, distributed by The Heritage Fund as part of their Digital Skills for Heritage initiative. We are also grateful to The Henry C. Hoare Charitable Trust, Sophia Webster Ltd. and The Lochlands Trust for their generous support.

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