Botham, M.; Roy, D.; Brereton, T.; Middlebrook, I.; Randle, Z.

United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme: collated indices 2012

Collated indices are a relative measure of butterfly abundance across monitored sites in the UK, calculated from data collected by the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS). Collated indices are calculated annually for each individual butterfly species that has been recorded on five or more sites in that year. Based on this criterion collated indices have been calculated for the entire UKBMS time series from 1976 to the current year for the majority of species. For some rarer species the time series starts in a later year due to lack of data. Collated indices are calculated using a statistical model that accounts for missing data. The number of sites for each species ranges from 5 to several hundred and varies from year to year. Since 2008 more than 1,000 sites have been monitored across the UK each year. Collated indices are calculated so that we can determine how butterfly populations are changing over time across the UK. This data can be used, for example, to determine where to target conservation efforts and to measure the condition of the UK countryside. Butterflies are recognised as important indicators of biodiversity and environmental change (e.g. as official UK Biodiversity Indicators), and have been used in numerous research studies to understand the impacts of changes in climate and the extent and condition of habitats. Although the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) and Butterfly Conservation (BC) are responsible for the calculation and interpretation of the Collated indices, the collection of the data used in their creation is ultimately reliant on a large volunteer community. The UKBMS is funded by a consortium of organisations led by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).

Publication date: 2013-05-01

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THIS DATASET HAS BEEN WITHDRAWN and superseded by United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme: collated indices 2013

If you need access to the archived version, please contact EIDC

Format of the Dataset : Comma-separated values (CSV)

Access and use conditions

Licence terms and conditions apply

You must cite: Botham, M.; Roy, D.; Brereton, T.; Middlebrook, I.; Randle, Z. (2013). United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme: collated indices 2012. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.


This dataset is part of the following


Study area
Temporal extent
1974-04-01    to    2012-09-01

Supplemental information

Other useful information regarding this dataset:

This is a web page which provides data for each butterfly species at each monitored site. It also provides links to reports, UKBMS related publications and to UKBMS statistics in addition to maps of sites.


Collated indices are produced using a series of statistical models on butterfly transect counts recorded by a volunteer network. These indices are a relative measure of each species' abundance across the UK compared to the baseline in 1976. The statistics are presented as log10 values. These values are centred around an arbitrary value of 2 as a mean for the time series in order to help show which years are below or above average (a technique used in other biodiversity indicators). This dataset has been superseded by a more recent version 'United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme: collated indices 2013'.


Botham, M.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Roy, D.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Brereton, T.
Butterfly Conservation
Middlebrook, I.
Butterfly Conservation
Randle, Z.
Butterfly Conservation

Other contacts

Point Of Contact
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Point Of Contact
Butterfly Conservation
Resource Provider
UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme
Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre
Environmental Information Data Centre


Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid


Topic categories
Other keywords
Monitoring & Observing Systems
Other keywords
Discipline keywords
Place keywords
Northern Ireland
Temporal keywords
Theme keywords
Species distribution

Dataset identifiers



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Environmental Information Data Centre
Last updated