Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Moth Eaten?

Butterfly Conservation, along with Rothamstead Research and the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, have found a marked reduction of larger UK moths over the last 50 years (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/03/britain-moths-decline-by-third-50-years-study). The decline (with a mean of 33%) is larger in Southern Britain (39%) than in Northern regions (22%). The loss of these animals is important. Many are valued pollinators and the group provides food (as adults and as caterpillars) for small animals (e.g. bats) and birds. Reasons for the declines may vary from species to species. In many cases, habitat loss and intensive farming, are probably the most important factors for the declines. Some species are much influenced by climate change. These moths are moving their distributions northward but they are still declining there. Light pollution also can have a powerful detrimental effect on many species. The whole picture for the UK's ecological health is poor. The decline in these varied lepidopterans emphasises what we are losing.

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Seeing the Changes 1537

Shining cranesbill ( Geranium lucidum ) in flower in Bynea.