A new study reveals a sad and dangerous truth for butterflies in the UK. By the end of 2050, there will be six species of butterflies that will go extinct in the area and the only way they can be saved is if we offer them our help.
This conclusion has been reached in a new study which was published in the Nature Climate Change journal and points out that drought-sensitive butterflies from the UK are expected to go extinct in less than 40 years.
What is more worrying is that the information is also confirmed by the British nonprofit Butterfly Conservation which previously declared that approximately 75 percent of British butterflies are in danger.
Tom Oliver, who works at Britain’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and conducted the study, said that the problem is worse than he had expected. He believes that an attempt to restore previously destroyed habitats and reducing CO2 emissions are the only way in which this species can be kept alive.
Oliver also mentioned that, while the study specifically targeted butterflies, these conclusions are not only valid to them, but to other major populations of moths, dragonflies, birds or beetles.
Butterflies have a more profound impact in the ecosystem than the majority of people know of. They are not only beautiful and graceful, but they indicate that there are many other invertebrates in that ecosystem and they facilitate pollination and the food chain.
Jessica Hellmann, a researcher from the University of Notre Dame, also pointed out that people should take interest in how the situation develops because it is practically showing us what climate change can do to our environment.
The research team observed and analyzed information from 129 sites. These sites tracked about 28 butterfly species through the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. The sites have been tracking populations ever since 1976. The hottest summers indicated that there six butterfly species that do not cope well with heat.
They are the carbon white butterflies, the ringlet, the green-veined white, the cabbage white, the skipper and the speckled wood.
Researchers used the hypothesis that greenhouse gas emissions and levels of warmth would remain at today’s levels and they discovered that species might start going extinct by 2050.
While the future does not look too bright for these beautiful little creatures, there is still time for us to act and prevent them from disappearing. Scientists suggest that we start by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and work on managing landscapes better. In short, we have to restore a good connection between habitats. If we do so, the little ones will survive.
Photo Credits curezone.org