Twelve gifts of Christmas

Moth traps to monitor healthy ecosystems

Moths have been around for over 50 million years, but due to habitat loss their numbers are in decline, with some even going extinct. At the CRT we use catch and release moth traps to monitor numbers and input the data into a national database. We also use moth traps for education to engage visitors about farmland biodiversity. A new portable battery-powered moth trap would make this a lot easier.

Moth numbers are declining. One report concludes that numbers are down about 28% since 1968. This is cause for concern because moths are indicator species and an important part of the ecosystem, telling us about the health of the environment. Moths are prevalent in a wide variety of habitats and are extremely sensitive to changes. Monitoring the numbers and ranges can identify changes in, and to, nature such as new farming practices, air pollution and climate change.

What the CRT wants to do

Being mostly nocturnal, moths can be challenging to monitor. A ‘trap’ contains a special bulb which attracts the moths into a container where they are kept safe until the morning to be identified, counted and released.

A battery trap is an excellent tool for our education and outreach event programmes and easily transported between our farms and the results shared with the community.

The results

Butterflies and moths offer captivating opportunities for teaching children about the wonders of the natural world through their fascinating life cycles. Metamorphosis from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis is a truly enchanting story in nature.

Beyond this remarkable life cycle, moths with their seemingly infinite variety of colours and patterns, provide invaluable educational insights. They not only captivate young minds but also instill a deep appreciation for the beauty and complexity of the natural world, fostering a sense of wonder and environmental consciousness in the next generation.


How you can help

A large moth trap and re-chargeable battery costs approximately £500. We need your help to fund this.

Please select a donation amount (required)

Your donation is being made to the CRT's Twelve Gifts of Christmas fund. The CRT will endeavour to put your donation towards the appeal you select, but the funds will be prioritised according to the greatest need. The CRT will try to ensure that all the items within the 12 appeals are purchased, but if an appeal's target is not met or exceeded the funds could be diverted to another appeal to achieve the greatest benefit for wildlife and people on our farms.

12 Gifts of Christmas

Wildlife blog: Moths shining the light on climate change