Late warden of Wexford Wildfowl Reserve is remembered in new butterfly book

By Amy Lewis

Published 09/07/2016 | 00:00

At the launch of 'Butterflies of the Raven' in memory of the late Chris Wilson (inset , right), from left, Tomas Murray, Nicholas Egan, Alan Maguire, Don Conroy, Cllr Paddy Kavanagh chairman, Wexford County Council, Lynda Harman, Ciara O'Mahoney, Cliona Connolly, Padraig Comerford and Ciara Flynn.
At the launch of 'Butterflies of the Raven' in memory of the late Chris Wilson (inset , right), from left, Tomas Murray, Nicholas Egan, Alan Maguire, Don Conroy, Cllr Paddy Kavanagh chairman, Wexford County Council, Lynda Harman, Ciara O'Mahoney, Cliona Connolly, Padraig Comerford and Ciara Flynn.
At the launch of 'Butterflies of the Raven' in memory of the late Chris Wilson (inset , right), from left, Tomas Murray, Nicholas Egan, Alan Maguire, Don Conroy, Cllr Paddy Kavanagh chairman, Wexford County Council, Lynda Harman, Ciara O'Mahoney, Cliona Connolly, Padraig Comerford and Ciara Flynn.

The gloriously sunny backdrop of the Raven Wood Reserve served as a very fitting place to launch the 'Butterflies of the Raven' leaflet created in memory of Christopher J Wilson.

Dedicated to the memory of the late naturalist, author and warden of Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, the leaflet aims to encourage all to continue Chris's invaluable work to observe and record butterflies. Wildfowl Reserve. It was officially launched by Don Conroy, followed by an interesting and informative butterfly walk through the Raven Wood led by Dr Tomás Murray.

Family friends and colleagues of Chris came together to celebrate Chris's life and his passion for everything to do with nature.

'Chris was passionate about everything to do with nature and had an exceptional talent of sharing that passion in a simple but highly contagious way. He worked closely with many Tidy Towns groups again sharing his knowledge and his passion and enthusiasm for nature,' said Chairperson of Wexford County Council Cllr Paddy Kavanagh.

Padraig Comerford, Divisional Manager, Eastern Division National Parks and Wildlife Service went on to say a few words about Christopher.

'Christopher will be remembered within the National Parks and Wildlife Service through association with wild places, through birds, flowers, moths, butterflies, whales, pearl mussels, the list is endless and as a person with infectious enthusiasm, wit, genuine warmth, humility and integrity and so much more. As a colleague and a friend he remains an inspiration,' he said.

Other speakers included Dr. Tomás Murray Coordinator of the Irish Butterfly and Bumblebee Monitoring Schemes, Pat Doyle from Friends of the Raven and Chairman of Wexford Naturalists Fieldclub Nicholas Egan.

The leaflet was an appropriate tribute to Chris, who passed away in 2015. Chris established the first butterfly monitoring transect in the Republic of Ireland when in 1992, he joined the National Parks and Wildlife Service as Warden of Wexford Wildfowl Reserve. As part of the Irish butterfly monitoring Scheme, Chris carefully recorded the butterflies he saw when he walked in the Raven Nature Reserve. 25 of the 34 Irish species of butterflies have been recorded at the Raven.

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