Spare 10 minutes to protect butterflies

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World-renowned British Bases entomologist Dr Kelly Martinou urges nature lovers to download the recently launched Flower-Insect Timed (FIT) Count application to learn more about pollinators and help scientists collect data on them.

The FIT Count mobile application was launched for the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme four months ago.

After its huge success, it is now available in Cyprus in English and Greek for iPhone and Android users.

Chief pollinators include bees, butterflies and wasps.

The latest version of the FIT Count app’ includes target flowers of Cypriot flora and extensive information about pollinators users are likely to encounter on the island.

Explaining how the app’ works, Dr Martinou said: “To do a FIT Count, you simply count the insects that land on a patch of target flowers for 10 minutes and submit your data via the app.

“FIT Counts provide a wonderful way for people to connect with nature.

“We are delighted to support the release of the app’ in Cyprus and to be working with others across the globe towards more standardised approaches for monitoring our precious pollinators.”

And in explaining the importance of pollinators and having the ability to monitor them better, Dr Martinou added: “Pollinators are estimated to contribute £150 bln to the global economy.

“Wild plants and more than 70 per cent of our crops depend on pollinators to produce seeds and fruits.

“Pollinators face many threats, such as habitat loss, pesticides and agricultural intensification, urbanisation, light pollution, invasive species and climate change, and we have taken for granted the services that pollinators provide, but that should not be the case, given how much we may lose if we lose them.’’