AGM presentation by Barbara Massingham-Stubbs

Barbara Massingham-Stubbs, a Friend and volunteer who has taken over the task of monitoring the butterflies on Magog Down, gave us a talk explaining the mechanisms of butterfly monitoring using the “transects” method, and showed us some of her resulting data as well as lots of pictures of the butterflies she has spotted on Magog Down.

Butterflies are a useful marker species for conservation monitoring, because they are very sensitive to changes in the environment so their appearance (or disappearance) can be a good early indicator of good (or bad) wildlife conservation practices. Her work continues what had been done for several years previously by Doug and Jenny Taylor.

Barbara had contacted the Governors asking for a project that she could help with. She is an IT professional with a keen interest in nature and wildlife, who had already been volunteering for the Wildlife Trust monitoring bats and dormice.  Jon Gibbs suggested that she may like to resurrect the Butterfly Transects that Doug and Jenny had started, so Barbara quickly took up the challenge and learned all about butterflies and how to monitor them.

UPDATES, April 2017 and August 2022:

  • information from Barbara’s talk was used to update the Moths and Butterflies page at the time..
  • more detail about the methodology and route for the monitoring used at that time can be found in this news article. The transect method described by Barbara has been updated. An article describing the new approach used will be written by our rangers, Claire and Nick Beale, in collaboration with the current butterfly recorders.


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