Number of butterflies in the UK at a record low, survey finds

Freshly emerged male silver-studded blue (Plebejus argus) on cross-leaved heath, Ash Ranges. 5 June 2020. This butterfly is a U.K. BAP Priority Species.

The Guardian reports Butterfly Conservation, which counted butterflies and moths between 16 July and 8 August, said the results, released on Thursday, marked the lowest numbers since the Big Butterfly Count started 12 years ago and called for urgent action to be taken.

It is the latest warning sign for butterflies – which, as well as forming a vital part of the food chain, are considered significant indicators of the health of the environment – after decades of decline. Since 1976, 76% of butterflies have declined either in abundance or distribution. 

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