46 million Butterfly Conservation records on NBN Atlas

The NBN Trust is thrilled and excited that Butterfly Conservation has recently made over 46 million records of UK butterflies and moths publicly available on the NBN Atlas. It’s brilliant news in our mission to make data work for nature.

Data is at the heart of the conservation decisions Butterfly Conservation makes to protect butterflies and moths, with good data being key to their future survival.

As data custodians of the two UK-wide recording schemes for butterflies and moths – Butterflies for the New Millennium and the National Moth Recording Scheme – they want to maximise the impact that these incredible resources have for nature. And, importantly, they know that the tens of thousands of people who participate in these schemes want the same thing.

The NBN Atlas is the UK’s largest repository of publicly available biodiversity data. By making its datasets publicly available on the NBN Atlas, Butterfly Conservation can more easily and quickly provide conservation organisations and researchers with data, helping to accelerate understanding of, and solutions to, the nature crisis. Policymakers can access the latest information they need to take action for butterflies and moths and it will help to raise awareness of what’s happening to butterflies and moths in the UK, alert landowners and land managers to the presence of scarce species near them, and empower members of the public to take action in their local area.

The datasets

The two datasets that have been shared are derived from verified UK scheme databases. They are based on the original records that Butterfly Conservation looks after, from the earliest records in the seventeenth century up to 2019.

The size of these new NBN Atlas datasets alone is testament to the collective passion and drive the UK’s recorders and verifiers have for studying and saving butterflies and moths. There are nearly 16 million butterfly records represented within the UK butterfly dataset that has been made available and nearly 31 million macro-moth records in the moth dataset.

It goes without saying that these data couldn’t be gathered and used for Butterfly Conservation’s work without the incredible support of its recorders, and it’s fantastic that their dedication will now have an even bigger impact for nature across the UK.

(Some of the text above has been taken from Butterfly Conservation’s blog, with permission. You can read the full blog here.)

NBN Atlas

As well as providing a huge number of records to the NBN Atlas for public use, the upload of the records has allowed us to test the upgraded NBN Atlas infrastructure and we are extremely pleased with how this has performed. The addition of the 46 million records means that the total number of occurrence records on the NBN Atlas now exceeds 254 million! Thank you to all our data partners for making this possible.

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