Change in weather leads to “butterfly explosion” in the Netherlands

We’ve all had a rough year, but the tides are starting to change, at least in the animal kingdom. Researchers have observed an explosion in the number of butterflies spotted in the Netherlands since mid-July.

Spring and early summer in the Netherlands were drab and rainy. No fun for us, but great for our winged friends. The wet weather offers prime conditions for caterpillars to grow. Thanks to the weather finally getting warmer, these gorgeous insects have emerged, well, like butterflies out of their cocoons! 🦋

How are butterflies counted?

How do we measure the number of these winged beauties? Well, we count them. Yes, it’s as simple as that. Volunteers have been counting the number of butterflies they’ve seen in a week in fixed locations around the Netherlands. This study is called the butterfly measuring network. (Does that sound like butterflies holding measuring tape to anyone else? 😂 )

When we say an explosion, it’s because the figures have changed drastically in the last week. Over the weekend (July 17 and 18) significantly more butterflies were counted than in the previous two weeks.

READ MORE | The bees are back in town: record number of bees counted in Netherlands

Six times as many butterflies

These aren’t just wild butterflies, but a lot of these species you can spot in your back garden. There was an increase in the spotting of little cabbage white, the hackled aurelia, the tree blue and the atalanta species. According to The Butterfly Foundation, the atalanta butterfly has gone from being counted once every 1,000 meters to being seen an average of six times.

Have you spotted more butterflies this summer? Where have you seen them? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: adogslifephoto/Depositphotos

Chloe Lovatt 🇬🇧
A British native, Chloe has a love for other languages and cultures, having lived in Spain before moving to the Netherlands. She is keen to explore the Dutch landscape, cultural spots and — the most important — food! After being here for a few months she already has developed a mild addiction to kibbeling.


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