Tuesday, 15 December 2015

It Might Be a Washout!


A report suggests that, over the last 40 years, some 45-46 of the existing 59 species of 'UK' butterflies have been in rapid decline here (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/15/decline-in-over-three-quarters-uk-butterfly-species-final-warning-says-chris-packham). The report notes that the losses are more marked in England and Wales than they are in Scotland perhaps suggesting that climate change is driving some species north (but there would be limits to such a process). The only butterfly species where there is slightly happier news are the really endangered populations where intensive conservation efforts are having modest beneficial effects and the migratory species (such as the Red admiral and Painted lady) who might be arriving in greater numbers (along with species only occasionally found on these islands). Chris Packham maintains that, if brightly-coloured butterfly species are falling in numbers, less obvious (but important) insects species (such as beetles and bees) must also be in marked decline. Farming practices and use of pesticides may also have a role.

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