Tag Archives: insects

Boost for butterflies as gardeners take a walk on the wild side

The Daily Telegraph reports dwindling sightings of the insects mean people are being encouraged ‘rewild’ their garden by leaving parts of it for nature. A poll of over 2,000 people by BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine found that 54 per cent of people had created an “uncultivated area” in their garden last year, up 11 per cent on the year before.

Kate Bradbury, wildlife editor at the magazine, said gardeners keen to help boost butterflies could also resist the urge to clear up dead leaves or cut back dead stems from which chrysalides might be hanging.

Climate change: Dragonflies spread north in warming world

The BBC reports dragonflies are moving northwards across Britain and Ireland as temperatures rise. More than 40% of species have increased their distribution since 1970, while only about 10% have declined, according to a new report.

Experts from the British Dragonfly Society say it’s an indicator of the effects of climate change. There is concern over the loss of populations of insects due to factors such as pollution and habitat loss. 

Light pollution from street lamps linked to insect loss

Clifden Nonpareil moth photo by Bill Stanworth

The BBC reports scientists say light pollution may be contributing to “worrying” declines in insects seen in recent decades. In a UK study, artificial street lights were found to disrupt the behaviour of nocturnal moths, reducing caterpillars numbers by half.

Modern LED streetlights appeared to have the biggest impact. There is growing evidence that insect populations are shrinking due to the likes of climate change, habitat loss and pesticides. Factors are complex and varied, including the steady loss of forests, heathlands, meadows and marshes, overuse of pesticides, climate change and pollution of rivers and lakes.