FLS Environment Lead for South region Bill Coombes said: “Butterflies are recognised as indicator species linked to both climatic and habitat changes. With a large decline in butterfly numbers nationally over the past 20 years, the reserve is managed to create a diverse range of micro habitats to cater for all stages of the butterflies' life cycle.
“A mixture of sunny and shaded areas in the lowland mixed deciduous forest area affords a rich diversity of uneven habitat structures that support 23 recorded species.
“Forest craft apprentices carry out annual maintenance, consolidating their training by creating glades, deadwood areas, opening up riparian corridors and sowing wildflower seed which all ensure connectivity on the site.''
Habitat management of the woodland rides at Mabie by FLS, with advice from Butterfly Conservation, has encouraged not only the Pearl-bordered fritillary but many other species of butterfly, including Small Pearl-bordered and Dark Green Fritillary, and Wall Brown.
Butterfly Conservation Scotland and FLS are very grateful to the team of volunteers who monitor the Mabie transect, allowing the effectiveness of the habitat management work to be assessed. (Unfortunately, due to the lockdown, the transect will not be walked in 2020).
Mabie Forest nature reserve is managed jointly by FLS and Butterfly Conservation Scotland. For more info go to https://butterfly-conservation.org/our-work/reserves/mabie-forest-dumfries-and-galloway.