absurifluous (absurifluous) wrote in ecologists,

British butterflies

The Independent is leading a national butterfly search. a large portion of the endemics are facing population declines. from the article:

"In the Great British Butterfly Hunt we will seek to find and report on each one of our 58 varieties (56 residents and two Continental migrants) – from the Glanville fritillary, found only on the Isle of Wight, to the chequered skipper, now occurring just in the Scottish Highlands. In a mixture of safari, national health check and conservation campaign, we will report from the Norfolk Broads on the state of the swallowtail, from the oak woods of Hampshire on the purple emperor, and from the hills of Somerset on the large blue, a lovely insect that became extinct in Britain in 1979 but has now been reintroduced, and – in a conservation miracle – is breeding again. We will report from right across the country on every single species.


But we are not launching the Great British Butterfly Hunt solely for public enjoyment, although that is a key reason. We want to raise awareness, for British butterflies are in crisis, with numbers falling to their lowest point ever in one of the worst wildlife declines Britain has seen.

Two successive washout summers have sent populations plunging: at least a dozen species are at their lowest level ever recorded, many more are in serious trouble, and numerous local butterfly colonies are on the brink of dying out. Three species in particular, the wood white, the Duke of Burgundy and the high brown fritillary, are now seen as being in real danger of national extinction."

this sounds like a great idea to raise awareness. since the UK is a more compact country, it seems like it could be a fun way to spot these little ones.
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