Early Start For Rare Spring Butterflies in Warwickshire
by Katie Callaghan - Publicity Officer, Butterfly Conservation
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Many of the UK's rare spring butterflies have emerged weeks earlier than last year because of the recent mild weather, Butterfly Conservation has revealed.
The Dingy and Grizzled Skippers were both recorded in Warwickshire 10 days earlier than last year and in the south one of the UK's rarest butterflies - the Lulworth Skipper - emerged more than a month earlier on May 21st.
The endangered Duke of Burgundy and Wood White butterflies were also spotted three weeks earlier than last year.
Last year's delayed emergence was due to the coldest start to spring for half a century, but when looking at the 10-year mean for emergence dates from 2002-2010, it shows most species are now appearing earlier than before.
The Holly Blue and Orange-tip â€“ both widely found in Warwickshire - were spotted three weeks earlier than last year, with butterflies like the Green-veined White and Small Copper also appearing in the county more than 2 weeks earlier than they did in 2013.
Species hibernating over the winter such as the Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock, have also been seen in large numbers this year after butterflies bounced back in the warm summer of 2013.
"Over the longer term, many butterfly species have shifted their emergence to earlier in the year in response to climate change."
"Our first encounter with a favourite butterfly species each year is a special moment to treasure, but these sightings are also important indicators of how our native wildlife is responding to changes in the environment."
Butterfly Conservation has just launched the free iRecord Butterflies app, which allows users to submit their butterfly sightings and photos to form part of Butterfly Conservation's long-running national recording scheme. The results will then be used by scientists to determine how species are faring.
More than 4,000 sightings of 29 different butterfly species have already been logged through the new app since it was launched in April.
The iRecord Butterflies app is available for iPhone from iTunes and for android devices via the Google Play Store
For pictures or interviews please contact the Butterfly Conservation press office on 01929 405005 or email@example.com
Butterfly Conservation is the UK charity dedicated to halting the rapid decline of butterflies and moths and protecting our environment. We run conservation programmes for more than 100 threatened species and manage over 30 nature reserves. www.butterfly-conservation.org
If you have any questions or require more information about this press release, please contact Katie Callaghan - Publicity Officer, Butterfly Conservation by email.