A billion butterflies - but crisis remains
by Catrin Hollingum
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Warwickshire butterfly enthusiasts want the public to know that many butterflies remain in serious decline - despite an abundance this summer of one particular species.
It’s been estimated there could be up to a billion Painted Lady butterflies throughout the UK this summer. However, members of the Warwickshire branch of the charity Butterfly Conservation stress that the Painted Lady is a migrant that only occasionally visits the UK in significant numbers.
Meanwhile, although some native British butterflies are faring better than in the rain-drenched summers of 2007/2008, their numbers overall remain down on a decade ago.
Warwickshire Butterfly Conservation members will be getting their message across during the annual Save Our Butterflies Week, this year being held 25 July to 2 August. During the week Warwickshire branch of Butterfly Conservation will be holding several events including (insert events here).
Warwickshire Butterfly Conservation spokesperson Mike Slater said: “It is a glorious sight to see so many Painted Ladies but the prospect for butterflies traditionally found in this part of the world remains very mixed. Some butterflies such as the Ringlet are doing well this year thanks to the warm, dry summer we have had so far. However the picture is looking much bleaker for Small Blue. This endangered butterfly can only be found on a handful of sites locally and it remains endangered. Volunteers will continue to monitor populations carefully. Come along to our Save Our Butterflies Week events to find out more”
Richard Fox, surveys manager at Butterfly Conservation, says the abundance of Painted Lady butterflies has left many people confused. “The Painted Lady isn’t a resident butterfly. It migrates from North Africa and some years we see very few of them. This year conditions in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco were about as good as they get and allowed excellent germination of the caterpillar food-plants.”
In May swarms of Painted Lady butterflies were spotted flying over Warwickshire. Now all those butterflies will have bred and a second generation is poised to take to the skies.
1. Butterfly Conservation is the largest insect conservation charity in Europe with nearly 14,000 members in the UK. Its aim is the conservation of butterflies, moths and their habitats. It runs conservation programmes for over 60 threatened species of butterfly and moth, organises national butterfly recording and monitoring schemes, and manages over 30 nature reserves. Further information can be found at www.butterfly-conservation.org
2. Butterflies are important indicators of the health of an environment. In profusion, they show us that nature is in healthy balance.
For further information contact
Chairman (Warwickshire), Butterfly Conservation
Dr Martin Warren
Chief Executive, Butterfly Conservation
07775 590 750
Painted Lady - Steven Cheshire (paintedlady03.jpg)
Small Blue -
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Notes for Editors
Butterfly Conservation is the largest insect conservation charity in Europe with nearly 14,000 members in the UK. Its aim is the conservation of butterflies, moths and their habitats. It runs conservation programmes for over 60 threatened species of butterfly and moth and manages over 30 nature reserves. Further information www.butterfly-conservation.org
Company limited by guarantee, registered in England (2206468).
Registered Office: Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP.
Charity registered in England & Wales (254937) and in Scotland (SCO39268)
If you have any questions or require more information about this press release, please contact Catrin Hollingum by email.