As part of the UK and Ireland wide Moth Night 2012, Butterfly Conservation NI teamed up with with The Ring of Gullion Officer for Newry and Mourne District Council to find out what creatures can be found around the mountains. The Ti Chulainn Activity Centre became moth central on Friday 22nd with participants spotting some of our biggest common garden moths including the bright pink Elephant Hawk-moth, the shimmering purple/grey Poplar Hawk-moth and the delicately spotted White Ermine- all of which can be found in the average garden!
Darren Rice, Ring of Gullion officer said, “Summer moths are bold and beautiful, and Catherine brought this subject to life with her passion and enthusiasm during the night.” He added, “I think we have a few budding Lepidopterists (moth and butterfly enthusiasts) in the Ring of Gullion as a result of the event.”
Four families were able to take moth traps home with them to see what moths were present in their gardens, helping scientists monitor what moths are in the Ring of Gullion. Catherine met with the families again on Saturday morning to identify and release all those caught moths.
Caoilfionn, who took a trap home with her, commented, “The Fly By Night event was Fantastic! We really enjoyed it.”
Catherine Bertrand of Butterfly Conservation NI said, “It’s been a pleasure to celebrate Moth Night 2012 in the Ring of Gullion. Moths are an under-valued and unappreciated part of our rich and varied ecosystem, providing food for lots of other creatures and helping us to understand the health of our environment.” She added, “I know everyone who joined us on Friday and Saturday were amazed and delighted to discover the wealth of life in their own back yards, even on a cold and blustery night.”
Catherine continued, “I hope this is just the beginning of our exploration of what creatures can be found in the Ring of Gullion and I look forward very much to our next moth-ing event in September.”
To book your place on our September event visit www.ringofgullion.org. And if you just can’t wait why not visit www.bcni.org.uk and find out what you can do to help!