In a very short time – only about six years since the Mapping European Butteylies project was announced or some seven years since the preparations were started – the results in the form of The Distribution Atlas of European Butterflies can now be presented to the public. The data base of The Distribution Atlas of European Butterflies consists of 228 931 data records provided by 254 recorders from all over Europe or extracted from all the major national, regional and private data banks. The Distribution Atlas of European Butterflies contains 451 dot distribution maps of all the European butterflies. For the first time a distribution atlas of European butterflies will be available and at the same time Europe will be the first continent ever to have all its butterfly species plotted on precise and comprehensive distribution maps. Apart from providing significant species specific chorological data for taxonomists and biogeographers the prime purpose of the Atlas is to aid and promote the conservation of European butterflies. The analysis and evaluation of the distribution data contained in The Distribution Atlas of European Butterflies will facilitate the identification of priorities in selecting species and areas of European significance for conservation purposes. Thus, The Distribution Atlas of European Butterflies constitutes a major contribution towards the advancement of our knowledge of European butterflies.
The author of the Atlas, Dr. Otakar Kudrna (63, British, Czech bom) – one of the leading experts on European butterflies – has devoted most of his life to the scientific study of butterflies, concentrating mostly on those of Europe. He is the author of about 80 original papers and books on systematics, biogeography, ecology and conservation of butterflies published in the English and German languages. Early retirement relieved him of his university duties and enabled him to conceive and conduct the Mapping European Butterflies project, his long-held dream. Nonetheless, without the support of the Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. (NABU) and the Gesellschaft für Schmetterlingsschutz e.V. (GfS), Mapping European Butterflies could never have been started; without the co-operation of the 250 recorders the project would have never been successfully accomplished.