Conserving the High Brown Fritillary on the Morecambe Bay Limestones

  • Published source details Ellis S., Wainwright D. & Wain M. (2012) Conserving the High Brown Fritillary on the Morecambe Bay Limestones. Pages 16-23 in: S. Ellis, N.A. Bourn & C.R. Bulman (eds.) Landscape-scale conservation for butterflies and moths: lessons from the UK.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore or create forest or woodland

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Restore or create forest or woodland

    A replicated, before-and-after study in 2007–2011 in five woodlands in Lancashire and Cumbria, UK (Ellis et al 2012) reported that at sites with coppicing, tree felling and thinning, and ride management, presence of the high brown fritillary Argynnis adippe persisted or increased, and presence was most likely at sites with high brash and bracken Pteridium aquilinum litter coverage. Between 2007 and 2011, when there was an increase in coppicing, tree felling and thinning, and ride management, the number of sites within a woodland where high brown fritillaries were recorded increased by between 0% and 40%. High brown fritillaries were significantly more likely to occupy sites with more bracken litter (reported as a frequency, average occupied: 19, not occupied: 7) and higher brash cover (average occupied: 21%, not occupied: 11%). Between 2007 and 2011 the pearl-bordered fritillary Boloria euphrosyne colonised two, Duke of Burgundy Hamearis lucina one and pyralid moth Anania funebris two sites (number of woodlands not provided). Twenty-three sites spread across five woodlands in Lancashire and Cumbria were managed between 2007 and 2011 with a combination of coppicing, tree felling and thinning, and ride management. Butterflies were monitored at each site using transects in 2007 (months not given) and timed counts with an average length of eight minutes in May–July 2011. Bracken litter and brash coverage were assessed in May 2011.

    (Summarised by: Eleanor Bladon)

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