Saturday, 21 January 2012

Hibernating Moths

Earlier today, Mike Hogan and I completed our annual survey of hibernating moths (almost exclusively Herald Moth) at three disused railway tunnels in the Merthyr Tydfil and Cynon Valley.
Totals were alarmingly low compared to previous survey totals and the averages for those tunnels, with the total of just 5 Heralds at Pant tunnel being only 16% of the average for that tunnel; the total of 8 Heralds for Cefn Glas tunnel being 21% 0f the average and the total of 42 for the Merthyr tunnel, being 35% of the average.
The reason(s) for the drop in numbers of hibernating Heralds in these tunnels, this winter are unknown, but may be an indication that along with most other moth species in this part of the northern valleys area, they may have suffered a poor year.
My personal experience of 2011, whether trapping in my garden or out and about, locally, with my Skinner trap, the same picture emerged: numbers of species and individuals well down; almost to 2007/2008 levels. It is possible, of course, the mild winter weather may have more than a little to do with it, too.

2 comments:

  1. Of course it could just mean that they aren't hibernating any more...

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    1. True. Only time will tell, I suppose.

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