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Butterflies have never been more popular. The membership of Butterfly Conservation alone has now reached over 33,000 people and is growing at around 3,000 per year. Added to this, over 110,000 people take part annually in the Big Butterfly Count.
This new addition to the British Wildlife Collection is a unique take on butterfly behaviour and ecology, written by the former Chief Executive of Butterfly Conservation. It explores the secret lives of our British species (also drawing on comparative examples from Continental Europe), revealing how they have become adapted to survive in such a highly competitive natural world.
Combining personal anecdote with the latest discoveries in the scientific literature, the friendly yet informative text covers everything from why we love butterflies, their life history from egg through chrysalis to adult, population dynamics and how butterflies use the British landscape, their struggle for survival in a vicious world of predators and parasites, the miracle of migration, changing numbers during the twentieth century, and the significance of managing habitats at a landscape scale. It ends with a passionate plea for their conservation. It is the ultimate guide to what makes butterflies tick and how we can conserve them.
Martin Warren has studied the ecology and conservation of butterflies for more than 45 years, including research on threatened species, land-use management and climate change. He trained at Imperial College and University College London and undertook a PhD on butterfly ecology at the University of Cambridge. He was butterfly specialist for the Nature Conservancy Council before joining Butterfly Conservation as their first Conservation Officer in 1993. He has recently retired as the Chief Executive of Butterfly Conservation, and currently holds a part-time position as Head of Development with Butterfly Conservation Europe.
Martin has published over 300 scientific papers during his career, as well as hundreds of reports, and is co-author of several books. In 2007 he won the Marsh Award for Insect Conservation from the Royal Entomological Society and has appeared in the top 10 list of British conservationists in BBC Wildlife magazine. He was awarded an OBE for services to the Environment in the Queen's New Year's Honours 2017.