British butterfly species facing extinction after wettest summer
The weather created disastrous conditions for species such as fritillaries
Michael McCarthy, formerly the Independent’s longstanding Environment Editor, now its Environment Columnist, is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world. He has won a string of awards for his work, including Environment Journalist of the Year (three times) and Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards in 2001. In 2007 he was awarded the Medal of the RSPB for “Outstanding Services to Conservation,” in 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, and in 2011 the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology. In 2009 McCarthy published Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo (John Murray), a study of Britain’s declining migrant birds.
Tuesday 26 March 2013
Britain's butterflies suffered catastrophically in 2012, which saw the wettest summer on record for England. No fewer than 52 of the 56 resident British species suffered declines in the relentless rain and cold, some to such an extent that they now face extinction in parts of the country, according to the annual survey of the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme.
The weather created disastrous conditions for species such as fritillaries as they struggled to find food, shelter and mating opportunities; butterflies fell to a record low, and 13 species suffered their worst year on record.
The critically endangered high brown fritillary fell by 46 per cent, the vulnerable marsh fritillary was down 71 per cent and the endangered heath fritillary saw its population plummet by 50 per cent.
The black hairstreak, one of the UK's rarest species, saw its population fall by 98 per cent.
Leftover coffee 'can help fight global warming'
Frilled shark: Australian fishermen capture terrifying shark from the deep
Pope Francis calls for a new system of global government to tackle climate change
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...
£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...
£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...