Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Europe's rarest butterfly discovered in Cumbria

12 July 2016 at 10:26am

A new colony of one of Europe’s rarest butterflies has been discovered on an RSPB reserve in Cumbria.

The 12 Marsh Fritillary butterflies were found by RSPB volunteers at Campfield Marsh, on an area of rough wet grassland and a later visit by Cumbria Marsh Fritillary Project volunteers confirmed the sightings.

It's the only RSPB nature reserve in England where the species is currently present, following a re-introduction scheme in Cumbria led by Butterfly Conservation, Natural England and DEFRA in 2007.
Credit: Cumbria Butterflies
3 colonies were left in Cumbria in 2000 and four years later, the marsh fritillary faced extinction

Once widespread throughout the UK, the marsh fritillary has declined severely over the 20th century and is now confined to the western side of Britain and Ireland.

The number of colonies in Cumbria dropped from over 200 to just three in the year 2000 and by 2004 they faced extinction in the area.

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