British butterflies need summer boost

Apr 25, 2008

British conservationists said 2007 was the worst summer for butterflies in more than 25 years.

Butterflies do not fly in the rain, so it is impossible for them in wet weather to reach the nectar they need for food. The heavy rain also means they can't breed, the group Butterfly Conservation said Thursday.

The U.K. Butterfly Monitoring Scheme found that eight butterfly populations were at an all-time low -- the Common Blue, the Grayling, the Lulworth Skipper, the Small Skipper, the Small Tortoiseshell, the Speckled Wood, the Chalkhill Blue and the Wall.

Sir David Attenborough, president of Butterfly Conservation, is trying to raise money to increase butterfly conservation efforts.

"Butterflies face mounting threats. Some face possible extinction," he said in a statement. "Money from Butterfly Conservation's 'Stop Extinction Appeal' will restore countryside for butterflies and other wildlife."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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