Quantcast
Connect with us

‘Catastrophic’ 2012 rain means Britain’s butterfly populations drop

Published

on

Britain’s butterflies suffered a “catastrophic” year in 2012 with almost all species declining as a result of torrential rains, according to a study published on Tuesday.

Of the 56 species studied by the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, 52 saw a drop in numbers as Britain’s second-wettest year on record left the colourful insects struggling to find food, shelter and mates.

Several British species are close to extinction and the study warned that the wet weather could wipe them out in parts of the country.

“Many of our most threatened butterflies were already in a state of long-term decline prior to the 2012 deluge,” said the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, which runs the monitoring scheme with the charity Butterfly Conservation.

“There are now real fears that these already struggling species could become extinct in some parts of the UK as a result of last year’s wet weather.”

The critically endangered high brown fritillary, which has orange wings with dark spots, saw its population shrink by 46 percent over the year, while numbers of the endangered heath fritillary fell by a half.

ADVERTISEMENT

The black hairstreak, one of Britain’s rarest butterfly species, suffered a 98 percent drop in numbers.

For 13 species, 2012 was the worst year since the monitoring scheme began in 1976.

Common species also suffered, with numbers of the brown argus plummeting by 73 percent and the common blue, loved for its bright lilac colour, dropping 60 percent.

“2012 was a catastrophic year for almost all of our butterflies, halting progress made through our conservation efforts in recent years,” said Tom Brereton, head of monitoring at Butterfly Conservation.

ADVERTISEMENT

“With numbers in almost three-quarters of UK species at a historically low ebb any tangible recovery will be more difficult than ever.”

But the wet weather was a bonus for the few species that favour the damp, with four species enjoying rising numbers in 2012, according to the study.

Numbers of the scotch argus rose by 55 percent, while the grass-feeding meadow brown saw its numbers swell by 21 percent.

The data was collected by thousands of butterfly-loving volunteers who braved the downpours to monitor the insects at more than 1,000 sites across Britain throughout the summer.

Swathes of Britain were hit by flooding in 2012. At least three people died in floods in southwest England and Wales in November, while torrential rains caused widespread disruption to the road and rail network in the run-up to Christmas.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Federal Reserve chair defiant in face of Trump threats: ‘The law is clear — I have a four-year term’

Published

on

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sounded a defiant note on Wednesday as he announced that there would be no further cuts to interest rates for the time being.

Even though President Donald Trump has been publicly calling for a rate cut to spur additional economic growth ahead of his reelection campaign, Powell kept interest rates at their current level and signaled that he did not foresee any interest rate cuts for the rest of the year.

Powell was asked by a reporter if he was concerned about being "demoted" by Trump in the wake of this announcement, the Federal Reserve Chairman said he wasn't worried.

Continue Reading

CNN

John Dean explains the big mistake Hope Hicks made by stonewalling Congress

Published

on

Former White House counsel John Dean, a key figure in the Watergate scandal, said Wednesday on CNN that there was a serious flaw in the attempt to prevent longtime Trump confidant Hope Hicks from testifying to Congress.

White House lawyers have asserted that Hicks has absolute immunity and is not legally required to testify about her time as Trump's director of communications. Hicks testified Wednesday during a closed-door hearing before the House Judiciary Committee — where she reportedly refused to answer questions about her White House job.

"Privilege is not being asserted here. Instead, the White House says that Hicks has absolute immunity regarding the time that she spent at 1600 Pennsylvania. Does absolute immunity even exist? And if so, can you explain to me the difference between the two?" CNN host Brooke Baldwin asked Dean.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

GOP gangs up on AOC: Top Republican demands Ocasio-Cortez apologize to the entire world – she refuses

Published

on

The Republican machine is in fifth gear right now, speeding to attack one of their top Democratic targets: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

At issue, a video the New York Democrat recorded in which she calls the migrant detention camps on the U.S. Southern border "concentration camps."

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

Investigating Trump's henchmen is a full time job, and I'm trying to bring in new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have more stories coming you'll love. Join me and help restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link

Investigating Trump is a full-time job, and I want to add new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have stories coming you'll love. Join me and go ad-free, while restoring the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link