UK Butterfly population down 20%
Butterfly numbers fell by more than a fifth across the UK countryside last year, a study has revealed.
The 22 per cent drop in butterflies in 2011 is thought to be the result of an unusually cold summer and the ongoing deterioration of suitable habitat for the insects, wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation said.
The “wider countryside butterfly survey” involves counting butterflies in more than 700 random one-kilometre squares across the UK landscape.
A garden favourite, the small tortoiseshell, did particularly badly last year, with fewer than one butterfly seen per kilometre walked by recorders.
Butterfly Conservation said the low numbers were a cause for concern as less than a decade ago the small tortoiseshell was likely to be seen in almost every garden and flower-rich spot.
The common blue also struggled, with the butterfly spotted in only a third of the sites surveyed, compared to more than half in 2010.
And the once-widespread wall butterfly was largely absent from central England, the study revealed.
The meadow brown was the most widespread and abundant butterfly, spotted in 80 per cent of surveys.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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