Determining the long-term habitat preferences of the Duke of Burgundy butterfly, Hamearis lucina, on a chalk grassland reserve in the UK.
Journal of Insect Conservation
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Hayes, M., Hitchcock, G., Knock, R., Lucas, C., Chaney, P., Rhodes, M., & Turner, E. Determining the long-term habitat preferences of the Duke of Burgundy butterfly, Hamearis lucina, on a chalk grassland reserve in the UK.. Journal of Insect Conservation https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-018-0065-9
The Duke of Burgundy butterfly has undergone considerable range contractions across Europe and since the 1970s has lost around 84% of its former distribution in the UK. Despite its endangered status, the butterfly is understudied, with few papers directly investigating its habitat requirements. This limited research effort focusses on the larval life stage, with relatively little being known about the adults of the species. In this study, we investigated the habitat usage of both adults and larvae of the Duke of Burgundy. Fieldwork was carried out in association with the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire (BCN) Wildlife Trust on their Totternhoe Quarry Reserve in Bedfordshire. Using data collected over the course of a decade, we performed the first long term distribution analysis of the species and we identified habitat attributes associated with long-standing abundance hotspots of both adults and larvae on the reserve. We found both life stages to be conserved in their range, remaining in the same small areas of Totternhoe Quarry year on year, with adults often being more restricted in their distribution than larvae. Sheltered locations were important for both life stages, but small differences in habitat preference, such as slope and aspect, were also identified. These results emphasise the need to target management towards both life stages of the Duke of Burgundy, as supporting the larvae alone may not result in suitable environmental conditions for the adults.
Isaac Newton Trust and Christ’s College who jointly funded MPH’s Newton College Masters Studentship during this project.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-018-0065-9
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/279336
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/