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Rare Butterfly Populations Skyrocket in the UK

posted: 04/02/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Red admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta)
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Red admiral butterfly populations increased 189% in the UK, a new survey shows.
drmole/Thinkstock

Several species of endangered butterflies in the United Kingdom are now being spotted in record numbers, the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme shows. Successful conservation efforts, coupled with an unusually warm 2014 butterfly season, are responsible for the boost in butterfly populations.

The high brown fritillary, one of two critically endangered species of butterflies in the UK, experienced population growth of over 180% in a year's time; 2014 was its best year in a decade. In recent decades, the once-abundant butterfly has suffered extreme habitat destruction.

"A huge amount of work coordinated by Butterfly Conservation has been put into conserving this butterfly in recent years, especially though wildlife-friendly farming schemes, so the results will come as a welcome boost to all involved," said Dr. Tom Brereton, Head of Monitoring at Butterfly Conservation.

Other species also posted encouraging numbers: the majority of the 56 species surveyed experienced population growth. Some species, such as the Large White, still had alarming declines of up to 66%.

"There is a long way to go before the long-term decline has been reversed, with ongoing targeted conservation efforts crucial in this," added Bereton.

Click here for more information from Butterfly Conservation

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