Leipzig/Peking/Canberra/Tel Aviv. In future, butterflies in the People's Republic of China are likely to be monitored using European monitoring methods. Ecologists from several Chinese research institutions and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) laid the foundations for this cooperation on Friday. Experts from China, Germany, Australia and Israel met in Leipzig from 10 to 14 August to share their experiences in butterfly conservation and to intensify already existing research cooperations. The Workshop formed part of the German Chinese Year of Science and Education 2009/10 organised by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF).
Know-how developed at the UFZ is already being applied in Australia and Israel, where monitoring networks are being set up. In Germany the UFZ set up the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme five years ago together with the German Society for the Conservation of Butterflies and Moths (GfS). Since then, more than 500 volunteers have been counting and recording butterflies with a standardised method all over the country, providing the researchers with important data on distributions and trends of butterfly populations as well as information on land use and climate change in order to assess their impacts on these insects. Butterfly monitoring originated in Britain, where butterflies have been counted since 1976. The idea has since spread to many other European countries. Activities throughout Europe are coordinated by the umbrella organisation "Butterfly Conservation Europe (BCE)". Scientists from the UFZ were among those who established the BCE.
As butterflies are excellent indicators of the ecological condition of most terrestrial habitats, the Helmholtz Centre f
|Contact: Tilo Arnhold|
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres