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Posted Thu Sep 15 2011: from
Butterfly numbers fall after coldest summer in two decades
The results of the Big Butterfly Count 2011 revealed that the number of individual butterflies seen by each person counting the insects was down 11 per cent on last year. The common blue saw numbers tumble by 61 per cent in the count, which involved more than 34,000 people across the country recording sightings of 322,000 butterflies. Experts at wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation say they had expected a bumper summer for butterflies after a record-breaking hot, dry spring, but the cold summer with prolonged spells of rain hit the insects.... ''The dismal summer weather, the coldest for 18 years, is undoubtedly to blame, although many butterflies have suffered long-term declines as a result of destruction of their habitats by human activities.''... Butterfly Conservation warns that the last four years have seen butterfly numbers plummet to an all-time low, and that almost half of the 59 British species are now under threat.
[Read more stories about: canary in coal mine, weather extremes, ecosystem interrelationships]

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