You can count on DZG!

Senior Keeper Stacey Ball is counting on colleagues to support her as DZG takes part in a nationwide butterfly survey for the first time.

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Stacey, pictured above, is getting fellow Keepers involved in the Big Butterfly Count, an annual survey run by the charity Butterfly Conservation.

The count started on July 17 and runs until August 9, so over the next week Stacey will be asking zoo staff to get butterfly spotting and submit their sightings before the end of August deadline.

webbutterflySo far Stacey, who works with Lower Primates, has spotted large and small white butterflies, speckled woods, peacocks and small tortoise shells (shown left) near the spider monkey enclosure.

She said: “Anyone can take part by counting and recording which butterflies they see over a 15 minute period and you can even download a butterfly identification chart (pictured below) from the charity’s webpage.

“We have plenty of wild flowers at the zoo to attract bees and butterflies, especially in the sensory garden and the Castle courtyard, and it’s always interesting to see what native species we have on site.”

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The count, launched in 2010, has become the world’s biggest butterfly survey and helps the charity assess the health of our environment. Last year more than half a million individual butterflies and day-flying moths were recorded.

The Big Butterfly Count has celebrity backing too. Sir David Attenborough, President of Butterfly Conservation, Alan Titchmarsh MBE, Mike Dilger and Nick Baker, Vice Presidents of Butterfly Conservation and the actress Joanna Lumley OBE have all given their enthusiastic support to the project.

For more information on the Big Butterfly Count visit www.bigbutterflycount.org

Join us and get spotting! You can use gardens, parks, forests and fields or why count during your next visit to DZG?