Rare butterfly Small Blue found in Fermanagh
A tiny rare butterfly, thought to have died out here 16 years ago, has been found in County Fermanagh.
The Small Blue was discovered during survey work by the NI Environment Agency near Derrygonnelly.
It is Northern Ireland's smallest and most endangered butterfly and was last spotted here in 2001.
It was believed to have become extinct, but experts say a combination of good weather and careful land management have created conditions for its return.
Field work in the area of special scientific interest where it was located has found a large number of eggs and larvae.
Bobbie Hamill of the NIEA spotted the butterfly during field surveys.
Despite its name, the Small Blue is actually a dull brown colour and can be easily overlooked.
Ms Hamill said she and the other members of the survey team had been "really excited" when, all of a sudden, six of the butterflies fluttered by.
Catherine Bertrand of Butterfly Conservation said the rediscovery of the Small Blue "was a story of hope in really uncertain times".
She said most conservation stories were usually about loss of habitat or species.
But in places where the land was managed carefully species could make a comeback, she added.