Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Beautiful moths need help, not negative Press

I AM writing on behalf of Butterfly Conservation (Northern Ireland branch) in response to an article in connection with moths (News, August 9).

A number of our members have contacted me expressing concerns about the misleading tone of article, particularly the headline ('It's big and it's ugly and when it hits you, you'll know about it').

Describing Elephant Hawkmoths and Humming-bird Hawkmoths as "giants" is inaccurate as, while by moth standards they are reasonably large, both are smaller than most butterflies.

Stating that they "pack a punch when they hit you" is misleading, as those who have studied moths will confirm that neither will ever fly into you.

Both species are completely harmless and I am concerned that your sensational headline will encourage yet further destruction of these beautiful creatures.

Moths, like many insects, are already under pressure from habitat destruction and the use of pesticides and need all the help that they can get.

Thank you for at least airing the subject. Much of the remainder of the article was positive.

I would, however, ask that, in future, you steer clear of inaccurate headlines, which actually undermine the species you are seeking to promote.

DAVID NIXON

Secretary, Butterfly Conservation

(NI branch)

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