Tag: butterfly

UK Butterflies in decline

A worrying picture of declines in many UK butterfly species seems to have emerged after record numbers of people took part in Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count, a nation-wide ‘citizen-science’ survey aimed at helping “assess the health of our environment simply by counting the amount and type of butterflies (and some day-flying moths) we see”. The ‘count’ took place in July and August, with nearly 150,000 observers making 15-minute counts of butterflies in parks, gardens, woods and nature reserves across the country. Despite the high number of observers the survey reported the lowest average number of butterflies per count – 10.66 – since recording began in 2010.

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Monarch Butterflies prefer pesticide-free milkweed

Monarch Butterflies, famed for their long-distance migration, depend on finding the only food their caterpillars feed on: the Milkweed, a wildflower of fields, wetlands, and prairies. Milkweeds are not only the foodplant of Monarch caterpillars, they protect them too. Chemicals within the plant are stored in the caterpillars strikingly bright body which make them distasteful to predators. Researchers have now concluded that Monarchs prefer their larval food to be pesticide-free. As a rhetorical question that asks the absolutely bleeding obvious, ‘Do butterflies prefer not to be poisoned?‘ should be right up there with ‘Is the Pope Catholic?’ and ‘Do bears cr*p in the woods?’…

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