12 Mar 2018
Endangered Serbian Butterflies – Urgent Need for Research and Conservation
Endangered Serbian Butterflies - Setting Up the Tools for Conservation
Project aims to straighten the network of butterfly enthusiasts and join us together on achieving better conservation of these insects. It will improve online data entry facilities providing better knowledge on butterfly distribution and trends. Field studies are targeted for better understand of the ecology and potential competition between two sympatric Zerynthia species, but also for getting more data on threatened and the least known butterflies in Serbia. Finally, project will produce a georeferenced database with all available literature records and updated Red List of butterflies of Serbia. This will set a base ground for species conservation actions and should help us get better national legislature and improve butterfly conservation.
With the help of Rufford Small Grants, Serbia already assembled a great team working on butterfly conservation, mainly focused on citizen science initiatives. This project we’ll keep the team busy and growing through the largest butterfly survey in the country, allowing us to work together “in the field” and “on the web”.
We plan to perfect our software tools used for recording butterfly occurrences and trends (biologer.org and monitoring.habiprot.org.rs). Special field effort will be dedicated on two festoon butterflies (Zerynthia sp.) found together in eastern Serbia. Since eastern festoon has recently started to spread its range to the north, it would be interesting to look into ecological reasoning of this spread and predict future scenario. But the project also aims to improve the knowledge on the distribution of other threatened, protected and least known butterflies through targeted field surveys. Besides field surveys, the available literature will be digitalised. Finally all data will be to compile national Red List of butterflies, which is expected to set a long term priorities in species conservation and improve national legislative.
I am sure there is something for everyone in this project. There will be a lot of opportunities get involved in making your own field studies, promotion, digitalisation, design, writing Wikipedia articles, improving software etc. Join us on biologer.org and Facebook pages (insectserbia, butterflyserbia) to be informed about the project activities and see how you can help me and my team. Only together we can achieve favourable conservation of our butterflies and biodiversity in general.