Are Butterflies in Decline?

by Russ on March 8, 2014

This week we’re delighted to welcome a new Guest Blogger to the Nature Talks and Walks Blog – Amber Waddy, who asks the question, are butterflies in decline?

People have been fascinated in the beautiful butterfly right across the world due to their amazing colours.

Butterflies are one of nature’s true sirens, with their eclectic collection of patterns and delicate demeanour. The trouble is that because they are so susceptible to changes in their environment it can sometimes be hard for them to keep their numbers up to par. Last year’s studies showed that there were over 200 threatened species of butterfly and moth that needed urgent rescuing. Question is, what has happened with our butterflies to date this year?

The Peacock had a brilliant year in 2013, risen by an amazing 3537%!Summer of 2013 brought a lot of promise with several species growing in numbers. The Peacock in particular showed sensational progress with a staggering 3537% increase from the previous butterfly count. Despite these encouraging signs, however, there were still some breeds such as the Meadow Brown and the Marbled White that found it hard to find their footing and thus their overall count was cut by more than half. 2013 also saw a number of sightings in regard to foreign species such as the Long-Tailed Blue who were looking to colonise in the UK, though it’s too early to tell if this has been a success.

The start of 2014 saw a great and encouraging start with stable populations of butterfly including the likes of the Comma and the Brimstone thriving and even expanding their existing territories, many of them heading north bound due to the effects of climate change. While this is good news here and now worries that certain species will migrate completely to other regions of the globe are slowly becoming more of a concern. It has become much more evident that the current British environment has been increasingly unmerciful towards the local colonies of butterfly.

Even rarer species such as the Comma is becoming more at home in our gardens thanks to the plants we put there.So, what kind of things do our wonderful butterflies like? The nectar they need to live obviously plays a huge part in keeping their number steady as many of them like a rich diet of sugars. Certain seasons tend to favour certain flowers, so with spring approaching fast it might be worth looking into growing flowers such as Forget-Me-Nots and Primroses to entice more into the area. Another thing to have in your considerations is feeding the native caterpillars as they need just as much love as their metamorphosed counterparts. Also try to avoid using any commercial pesticides as these can be quite harmful.

Old fruit is a brilliant food source for garden butterflies.We can all play a part in making sure the butterflies that come and go are both welcomed and looked after. Local businesses can consult ecology experts to get a rundown of the local critters in the immediate area, while families with young children can get their hands mucky in the garden. Even something as simple as leaving out your scrap fruits and veggies can really help to encourage our majestic butterflies to stick around.

For more examples of Amber’s writing, why not check out her website.

Don’t forget…

Leave a question, picture or comment below and you could be featured in our future blogs! You can send any queries or pictures to:

[email protected]

Also remember to subscribe to our blog at the top right of the screen for updates on events,  your pictures, wildlife and much more.

Take care and remember, stay on the wild side!


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Avol February 21, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Thank you, Wendell! Yes, of course you can use any pciture of your liking on your blog with your poems if you wish to do that. I would feel honoured if you would. If the larger images are not the right size, just let me know and I will send you another size by e-mail.Have a wonderful weekend!Ciao, Francina

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: