In Viel-Falter: Butterfly Monitoring volunteers, together with researchers from the Department of Ecology of the University of Innsbruck, observe, identify and count butterflies. Given the diverse habitats in Austria, around 210 different species of butterfly live here, considerably more than in the whole of Germany. At the same time, many species of butterfly are threatened and even species that used to be common are seen more rarely. The main causes for this downturn are changes in land use, intensification in agriculture and increased use of insecticides and herbicides. Yet it is difficult to know exactly what is going on because few European countries operate long-term monitoring programs. Viel-Falter: Butterfly Monitoring should change this situation.
The targeted combination of professional butterfly surveys and observations of committed volunteers makes for a scientifically solid, low-cost and long-term investigation into butterfly populations, currently in Vorarlberg, Tyrol and South Tyrol. In this way, Viel-Falter makes an essential contribution to biodiversity monitoring in the Alps. Education and public relations work complements the scientific survey of Viel-Falter as an important aspect. Regular and continued training will help volunteers and other interested people to improve their general and specialist knowledge on species.
Our vision …
…is for decisions to be based on scientific knowledge instead of blind guesses when it comes to maintaining regional biodiversity! Long-term monitoring of the butterfly stands – carried out jointly by interested volunteers and researchers – is an important contribution to sustained and affordable biodiversity monitoring in Austria and to butterfly monitoring in Europe.
Who can join in?
Anyone interested in butterflies can observe butterflies in predefined places in Tyrol and Vorarlberg with the help of simple identification tools. The observations will be carried out several times between May and September. No previous knowledge is required. The Viel-Falter team will offer personal training tailored to the individual volunteer.