Friday, 14 September 2012

Big butterfly count reveals that bad weather was bad for most butterflies

Washout summer hampers butterflies
September 2012. This wettest summer for a century saw the numbers of many common butterflies fall, the world's biggest butterfly count has revealed. More than 25,000 people across the UK took part in the Big Butterfly Count 2012, counting over 223,000 butterflies and day-flying moths.
75% species declined in the last year
But the Butterfly Conservation survey revealed the numbers of 15 of the 21 species studied fell compared with last year's figures and 11 common butterflies declined by more than one third. Butterfly Conservation is concerned that the wettest summer for 100 years, combined with a poor spring has triggered population crashes and could put some already threatened species at risk.
Cold and wet weather is bad news
Cold and wet weather is a dangerous double whammy for butterflies - it increases the mortality of caterpillars and also limits the ability of adult butterflies to find mates and lay eggs, which leads to reduced numbers in current and future generations.

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