Marsh European Lepidoptera Award

2014 - Chris Van Swaay

Chris has been a senior officer for Dutch Butterfly Conservation for over two decades and during this time has managed numerous conservation projects and led excellent recording and monitoring schemes, which have gathered over 1.5 million butterfly records. He has brought together data from monitoring schemes across Europe to produce a European Grassland Butterfly Indicator, which shows a decline of over 50% in the last 20 years, demonstrating to EU officials the deterioration of this crucial habitat.

Chris has published extensively on trends in butterflies. He led two important studies with Martin Warren, Butterfly Conservation CEO, to produce the first ever comprehensive Red Data Book of European butterflies in 1999, and then a book on the Prime Butterfly Areas of Europe in 2003. In the last decade, he was the lead author on an updated Red List of European butterflies and has co-authored books on climate change and a new Dutch butterfly Atlas.

Chris has helped to develop several new methods of analysis which allow backtracking of species trends from distribution data to show that declines have often started earlier than shown in normal analyses. He has also helped to start recording schemes for moths and dragonflies in the Netherlands, submitting well over 300 publications on the way.

Chris gives talks around the world to promote the study and conservation of butterflies and was one of the founding members of Butterfly Conservation Europe. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of European butterflies and is passionate about their conservation.

Pictured above: Chris Van Swaay, taking photos of butterflies


Butterfly Conservation
Manor Yard
East Lulworth

T: 01929 400209