Following the signing of the Convention on Biological
Diversity at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, Biodiversity Action
Plans (BAPs) were drawn up throughout Britain at national level,
county level & local authority level, with the intention of
arresting the loss and degradation of habitat and associated
decline of species. Scientific research has established that
increasing biological diversity in any one geographical area not
only increases its production capability but also its resilience
to environmental change.
Butterfly Conservation's South-Central England RAP (2000),
was complementary to the BAPs insofar as it identified priority
species and addressed the particular issues concerning
Lepidoptera & their habitats. Based upon national criteria &
definitions, it set out conservation actions & targets for
butterflies, moths & their habitats in South-Central England
(Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight & Wiltshire) for the period
2000 - 2010. The intent was to arrest the decline of all
butterfly & moth species with special emphasis on the high and
medium priority butterfly and macro-moth species.
The principal aims were:
- To seek opportunities to extend the breeding areas and
their connectivity for the high & medium priority species;
in essence, to build larger blocks of appropriately managed
- Where ecological knowledge is inadequate for a species
then undertake research to rectify this & publish the
- To seek collaboration with partners & to provide
realistic management advice to land managers & owners.
- Where appropriate, consider possible acquisition of
sites as nature reserves or, alternatively, set up
management agreements with the present land owners.
- Where no prospect of recolonisation within the former
range of a species exists, then to consider re-establishment
of key species.
- Through education & publicity to increase the public
awareness of the plight of Lepidoptera & their habitats &
the work of Butterfly Conservation.
The period 2000-2010 undoubtedly gave rise to substantial
advances in all of the above, with many conservation success
stories to be proud of. However, there is no doubt that for many
species the declines continue, requiring that our conservation
efforts should be increased still further.
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