25 years later - after overwintering

Jacek Kazimierczak

CEO of Lepidopterra

On April 10, 2023, our first field visit took place as part of the "25 years later" series. We visited a small mixed forest near the floodplain meadow within the city of Łódź. Originally, the observations took place on April 1, 1997, but due to difficult weather conditions at the beginning of spring (2023), we were forced to wait until April 10. One of the biggest changes we saw was the felling of the forest for the expansion of the airport. The rest of the forest also suffered a lot of damage. According to our estimates, about 1/3 of the 212 hectares have been changed. Among positive observations, we noticed the intensive activity of beavers and the lack of new, illegal garbage dumps.

Our observations in 1997: Nymphalis antiopa (Camberwell Beauty) - 0 specimens, Nymphalis polychloros (Large Tortoiseshell) - 8 specimens, Nymphalis io (Peacock) - 2 specimens, Nymphalis urticae (Small Tortoiseshell) - 6 specimens, Polygonia c-album (Comma) - 1 specimen, Gonepteryx rhamni (Brimstone) - 6 specimens.

Our observations in 2023: Nymphalis antiopa (Camberwell Beauty) - 2 specimens, Nymphalis polychloros (Large Tortoiseshell) - 0 specimens, Nymphalis io (Peacock) - 1 specimen, Nymphalis urticae (Small Tortoiseshell) - 0 specimens, Polygonia c-album (Comma) - 1 specimen, Gonepteryx rhamni (Brimstone) - 6 specimens.

We recorded a decrease in the total number of butterflies from 23 to 10, which is a 56% decrease compared to 1997! Additionally, we noted that Nymphalis antiopa (Camberwell Beauty) is a new addition to the area.

We have not previously recorded numerous Aglais urticae and Nymphalis polychloros. However, we did note the presence of Nymphalis antiopa. The forest and floodplain meadow surrounding the area are under significant anthropogenic pressure, as the eastern and southern borders directly abut residential buildings. In the past, these were suburban houses with numerous old orchards that were often overgrown with nettles. Currently, there is a progressive tendency to cut down old fruit trees and mow gardens. Could this be the reason for the absence of Nymphalis polychloros and Aglais urticae?

Our next visit is planned for the end of April, and we hope to be able to observe these beautiful butterflies again!

It is worth noting the change in numbers, we recorded a decrease in the total number of butterflies from 23 to 10.

Let see how it all changed in Łódź, Poland!

Time remaining until next field survey after 25 years in Łódź


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