The Purple Emperor de-coded by Matthew Oates
Sponsored by Bloomsbury Publishing
Great news! We’ve cracked how to look for Purple Emperors and are finding them freely.
The Purple Emperor must be England’s national butterfly, having a unique place in English culture and natural history. Until recently we had little idea how to find it, though, as it’s primarily a canopy dweller – tropical in appearance and behaviour, outside our box.
Recently, good survey and monitoring techniques have been developed. Inspired and enabled, enthusiasts are now going out in search of this elusive butterfly. Many new colonies have been found. This spectacular butterfly is on the increase big time, infilling within its range, moving north, and colonising suburban habitats.
Matthew has also studied the butterfly’s immature stages in the wild. His findings should enable more effective conservation. Although this is essentially a good news story, the implications of milder winters – through climate change – are a concern.
This talk is based on Matthew’s new book ‘His Imperial Majesty’, a natural history of the Purple Emperor (Bloomsbury, June 2020).
This recording will be available on Saturday 22nd August and for 3 months afterwards.