England's butterflies are at risk

March 5, 2006

England's butterflies are increasingly at risk, with the number of farmland butterflies declining by 30 percent over the last 10 years, a study finds.

The study, released by Biodiversity Minister Jim Knight, was conducted for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by Butterfly Conservation.

"Butterflies are an iconic species in their own right, and they can be good indicators of the health of the entire ecosystem, so this decline is worrying," said Knight.

"The implications for other insects, birds and mammals are concerning. The fact that this overall decline has taken place across the board means that we need to look very carefully at how we can help butterflies throughout the countryside. We also need to monitor how well environmental stewardship supports butterfly populations -- particularly those most at risk."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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