Thursday, 29 March 2012

10 percent of Europe’s butterflies threatened with extinction

How to save Europe's threatened butterflies
March 2012. Managing habitats correctly is the key to saving Europe's most threatened butterflies, new guidelines have revealed. Butterfly Conservation Europe has published a list of "dos" and "don'ts" for conserving 29 species listed on the EU Habitats Directive - European guidelines protecting wildlife. Two of these species - the Large Blue and the Marsh Fritillary are found in the UK.
10% Europe's butterflies threatened with extinction
The new report provides crucial information on how to conserve these species and acts as a guide for EU countries to help meet international biodiversity targets. Almost 10% of European butterflies are threatened with extinction. A report on population trends of grassland butterflies revealed the abundance of 17 typical grassland species declined by over 70% in the last 15 years.
These declines are driven by habitat loss and incorrect management. Many habitats are either abandoned from agriculture, allowing them to become overgrown with scrub, while others are too intensively managed. The new guide will help ensure remaining habitats on key sites are better managed.
Lead author, Chris van Swaay of Dutch Butterfly Conservation said: "Managing habitats in the correct way is the single most important issue affecting the survival of European butterflies.
"This is the first time that practical information has been brought together to address the issue. We hope the advice will be taken up urgently across Europe to help save these species from extinction."

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