Our butterflies become part of the "Butterfly Monitoring Scheme".
Heredad Segura Viudas has been formally incorporated in the project to monitor butterfly populations in Catalonia with the activation of a new itinerary called "Conca del Bitlles".
Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (BMS) arrived in Catalonia in 1994, thanks to the Catalan Government support, where it was replicated the philosophy and methodology of the British BMS, activated by researchers E. Pollard and J.A. Thomas of the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology in the mid-70s of the last century. This project intends to know full details about the changes in the abundance of populations of diurnal butterflies (Rhopalocera), a goal that can be achieved through the weekly repetition of visual censuses along fixed transects divided into sections, allowing them to relate their behavior up to different environmental factors.
Butterflies show huge sensitivity for the composition and structure of the vegetation. Many of them are sedentary and may feel affected by the fragmentation of their habitat. In addition, they are extraordinary sensitive to climate and would respond to their variations; also, they play a fundamental role in the ecosystem as primary consumers and source of food for many secondary consumers. On the other hand, their aesthetic value and facility to identify, makes them very popular amongst naturalists who choose to observe them regularly.
This contrasted biomarker character of butterflies helps researchers to determine the direction of the changes in fauna and flora populations, which could provoke a strong anthropic pressure and transformations of the natural environment. For this reason, monitoring butterfly populations may help diagnosing the state of natural system and value the measures adopted to positively support them.