Woolly Bears and Tigers
Following careful moth trapping with Bob Smith from Butterfly Conservation, a highlight for the charity and the participants was when they discovered three Garden Tiger Moths at Bisley Road Cemetery, which is a local nature reserve managed by Stroud Town Council. The caterpillar of these moths is known as a Woolly Bear due to its fluffy appearance. Older readers may have been very familiar with these species but they have declined rapidly in recent years.
The ‘Moths of Bisley Road Cemetery’ event found 100 different moths in the cemetery. A record of the moths at the cemetery will be sent to the county Moth Recorder who collates data sent from all over Gloucestershire. Each year Gloucestershire records are sent to a number of national and county databases where they are available for analysis.
Bob Smith said that there are around 25,000 species of insect in this country, most of which are never seen. Monitoring moths and butterflies provides an important indicator of insect welfare generally and, indirectly, of the welfare of their predators, including birds, bats, spiders and predatory insects; and also of the state of the environment - and it's really interesting!