To find out why the number of Sooty Coppers (Lycaena tityrus) has declined in the Netherlands, a research was carried out using observation data, ordnance survey maps and nitrogen deposit data. It was established that in a period of thirty years urbanisation has had a negative effect on the species, whereas grassland and heath had a positive effect. Furthermore, the parts of the country where the Sooty Copper had disappeared completely were found to have the highest nitrogen deposit, as a result of intensive farming.