National Moth Night (NMN) is Britain’s celebration of moths and moth recording.
It was launched in 1999 and has taken place annually since then, the date varying each year in order to focus recording effort on different parts of the season. Atropos (the journal for butterfly, moth and dragonfly enthusiasts) founded the event and it is now run jointly with Butterfly Conservation (the UK charity taking action to save butterflies, moths and their habitats).
NMN is all inclusive and open to anyone to take part in, both expert and beginner alike. On the designated date, participants throughout the British Isles are encouraged to see what moths they can find in their chosen location and the results are pooled into Britain’s largest survey of what species are on the wing. Much important information has been generated on National Moth Night, including new species for various counties, new sites for scarce species and records of rare immigrants; amazingly, in 2008 a population of the White Prominent (a species that had not been seen in the British Isles for 70 years) was discovered in Ireland.
As well as producing information about moths, an important aim of the event is to raise the profile of these insects, to highlight how attractive they are, and to raise awareness of the declines in moth populations that have taken place. Public events take place around the country, which can be a great introduction to the world of moths and stimulate some people to take up a fascinating new interest.
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