, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 113-124

A new methodology for compiling national Red Lists applied to butterflies (Lepidoptera, Rhopalocera) in Flanders (N-Belgium) and the Netherlands

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Abstract

The compilation of the Red Lists of butterflies in Flanders and the Netherlands was based on two criteria: a trend criterion (degree of decline) and a rarity criterion (actual distribution area). However, due to the large difference in mapping intensity in the two compared periods, a straightforward comparison of the number of grid cells in which each species was recorded, appeared inappropriate. To correct for mapping intensity we used reference species that are homogeneously distributed over the country, that have always been fairly common and that did not fluctuate in abundance too much during this century. For all resident species a relative presence in two compared periods was calculated, using the average number of grid cells in which these reference species were recorded as a correction factor. The use of a standardized method and well-defined quantitative criteria makes national Red Lists more objective and easier to re-evaluate in the future and facilitates the comparison of Red Lists among countries and among different organisms. The technique applied to correct for mapping intensity could be useful to other organisms when there is a large difference in mapping intensity between two periods.