The Swedish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme

Welcome! The Swedish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme is a national monitoring programme coordinated by Lund University for the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. The programme was initiated in 2010, and is a partnership between the Entomological Society of Sweden, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Lund University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Swedish County Administration Boards.

The volunteer-based monitoring scheme runs from April 1st to September 30th annually. Sites are visited 3-7 times per season and are surveyed using a standardized, common methodology. Two different recording methods are used in the Swedish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. One is the point site counts which cover an area with a 25 m radius for 15 min per visit. The other method is fixed-route Pollard walk transects, typically 0.5-3 km in length. These two methods enable the monitoring scheme to assess yearly changes in the number of butterflies seen and species composition.

During the first year, 2010, 117 volunteer recorders joined the Swedish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. They counted nearly 30 000 butterflies of 83 different species. Maps and full information about the observations (including English and scientific names of all species) can be found in the annual report. The data came from 59 fixed-route walks and 108 point sites. The sites and walks are located across the whole country, from Malmö in the South to Luleå in the North. 

The number of volunteers has since then increased and in 2021 over 600 sites were monitored by more than 300 volunteers. From the collected data we can see changes in population numbers and distribution, analyze trends and calculate indicators, which all help us understand how the butterfly population in Sweden is changing over time. Analyzing trends is done both nationally within the Swedish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme and internationally within the partner network Butterfly Conservation Europe.

You are most welcome to contact us for more information and/or to provide suggestions!


You can get the 2010 Annual Report of the Swedish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (partly in English) here:

2021 Annual Report  (PDF, 18.5 MB)

Contact information

You can reach us via email, mail and telephone (see below):

The Swedish BMS

c/o Lars Pettersson

Biodiversity unit

Dept of Biology

Ecology Building

SE-223 62 Lund


+46 (0)46 222 3818

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