Rare butterfly returns to bogs in Co. Tipperary

Tipperary Star reporter

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Rare butterfly returns to bogs of Tipperary / Offaly

The Marsh Fritillary

One of the rarest butterflies in Europe has returned to the bogs of North Tipperary / West Offaly after an absence of over 20 years.

The Marsh Fritillary Butterfly was last seen on Turraun Bog in 1995 but has been recorded back on the bog within the past week.

Bord na Móna ecologists confirm the butterfly has returned to the area.

The head of Bord na Móna’s ecology department, Joe Lane, said: “This is a discovery of big European significance. The Marsh Fritillary Butterfly is a rare and beautiful creature that we thought had disappeared but now we now know to have returned.”

He said they believed it had returned because of the extensive bog rehabilitation work that has taken place in Turraun and at nearby Lough Boora Discovery Park but they needed way more data on this project.

“We are making a big appeal to people to go out there and find more examples of this and other butterflies. Go to our website (www.bordnamona.ie) and you will see a picture of the Marsh Fritillary so you know what to look fo,” he said.

Bord na Mona is asking people to photograph butterflies if they can and send the picture and details regarding the location to ecology@bnm.ie.

“We know they are out there, so we are asking people to take their children, family, friends, grannies, whoever they can get, to come to Lough Boora Discovery Park or go out to bogs and wetlands and help us find them. Above all when you do go out looking for the Marsh Fritillary remember to have fun and stay safe,” said Mr Lane.

The Marsh Fritillary is the only Irish butterfly that is protected at a European level. It is a species that will live in wetlands and bog margins.