Mystery of butterfly disaster summer

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Butterfly Conservation have put put a press release aout the disastrous 2016 breeding season for butterflies all over the UK. The results are from the Big Butterfly Count, and see drops of over 40% in the recording of many widespread species, such as peacock, gatekeeper and small tortoiseshell butterlfies - making 2016 the year with the lowest number of butterflies recorded since the count began.

Butterfly Conservation’s Head of Recording, Richard Fox, said: “The drop in butterfly numbers this summer has been a shock and is a bit of a mystery. When we have cold, wet summers, as in 2012, we expect butterfly populations to plummet, but that wasn’t the case this year.

“The summer months were warmer than usual, yet most Big Butterfly Count participants saw fewer butterflies. Perhaps the very mild winter had a negative effect, or the cold spring, or perhaps the impacts of intensive farming and pesticides are really hitting these common species now."

Highland Environment Forum

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