Saturday, 5 November 2016

Extreme Weather Impacts Butterfly Numbers

Small Tortoiseshell butterflies
We  have recently highlighted the falls in butterfly numbers recorded both nationally and at New Ferry Butterfly Park.

A recently published study in the Journal of Animal Ecology analysed data which had been collected from 1800 sites over 37 years for the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. Climate change affects ecosystems but short term spells of bad weather also have a damaging impact on butterfly populations. It appears that heavy rainfall during the cocoon stage is damaging but even worse problems are caused by higher than normal temperatures during ‘over-wintering’. If butterflies or caterpillars emerge too early they may then be killed by temperatures turning colder again.

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