Big Backyard Butterfly Count – the tools

Here’s what you need:

Download the form HERE.

Download the mailer HEREYou can print the mailer on the reverse of the form if you like to save paper or you can simply send the completed form to MBNZT, PO Box 44100, Pt Chevalier, Auckland 1246, using Freepost 237879 but don’t forget to send us your name, address and phone number.

  • You can count butterflies at multiple sites such as your bach or local park – make sure that the location is recorded on each form and add the postal code (or postal code of nearest street address) if known.
  • The best time is early in the afternoon but definitely before 3pm (when the garden is warmest).
  • Choose a location where there are lots of colourful flowers (for nectar) or host plant(s). Where there is stinging nettle you should see admirals. Where there is Muehlenbeckia you should see coppers.
  • Choose a sunny, still day. Butterflies don’t fly when they are cold or it is very windy.
  • Count the most you see of each species at any one time. If you see three monarchs together on a plant or flying, enter 3. If you see at the most 1 but see it on multiple occasions, record this as 1.
  • Count only adults – we are not interested in eggs, larvae or pupae.
  • Your count is also useful if you see none, enter a 0 against that species.
  • Encourage friends to do counts too. This year’s data will give us a baseline for future years. Future years’ information will show trends in populations and the status of our butterflies and day-flying moths.

To go back to the previous page (more details about the Big Backyard Butterfly Count), click HERE.