Assessment of the influence of habitat conditions, resource availability and structure on the abundance of Black-veined White Butterfly (Aporia crataegi)​

Project: Research

Project Details


The Black-Veined White, Aporia crataegi is a native UK butterfly, once found across southern England and South Wales. This butterfly was first noted in the UK in 1667. It was recorded in the 18th and 19th centuries but considered largely extinct by the 1880s, though It lingered in Kent until the 1920s. It is speculated that its decline and extinction was due to factors such as climatic changes, and that a succession of cold and wet Summer and Autumn weather throughout the nineteenth century ultimately led to its demise.

Currently, the Black-veined White butterfly range margins are changing, with a described northern expansion in Finland and Denmark and an upward altitudinal shift in southern mainland European possibly indicative of responses to climate change and/or habitat change. Bioclimatic models revealed that the projected drying climate in south-eastern Britain is expected to provide condition that are highly suitable for this butterfly, at least until 2050. Therefore, this appears to be a suitable time to attempt a reintroduction of this species in Southern England. However, conservation strategies including re-introductions at local, regional and national levels, can be particularly effective only if species resource requirements are known and can be maintained within landscapes.

This project will build on previous research on the habitat requirements of the BVW in its current range and aim to compare habitat and climatic conditions associated with butterfly populations in Normandy and selected habitat in England, to inform a proposed reintroduction project in southwest England.
Effective start/end date1/05/2431/08/24