Butterflies of the Pyrenees, our galleries

Nearly all the photographs in our galleries were taken in our local area – the valleys of the Pays Toy (Luz Saint Sauveur, Bareges, Heas and Gavarnie) in the Hautes Pyrenees.

Many thanks to Mark Brown who took many of them.

The Midi Pyrenees region has 200 species of butterflies and 28 species of day-flying moths recorded to date. This represents 75% of the 260 butterfly species recorded in France.

While the French are aware from butterfly monitoring, and particularly that undertaken in the United Kingdom, that butterflies are an excellent indicator of the health of the natural habitat, the existing butterfly records date from the 19th century and the early 20th century and cover only a very partial area.

With many species in decline or under threat, the importance is now understood of having a working tool to help reverse the decline and save threatened species from extinction. Several of the red list of threatened species of European butterflies can be found in the Midi-Pyrenees.

So, under a new initiative, the Conservatoire d’espaces naturels (CEN) Midi-Pyrénées in conjunction with Nature Midi-Pyrénées are now working together to produce a regional atlas of butterflies and day-flying moths of the Midi Pyrenees. Much input to this scheme has been welcome from the UK Butterfly Conservation European Butterflies Group  http://www.european-butterflies.org.uk/ See more here.