Climate Change is affecting our butterflies

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Climate Change is affecting our butterflies

The Holly Blue is one of Ireland’s butterflies that has been affected by climate change. Photo: A. Vliegenthart

A recent report released by Butterfly Conservation Europe has shown that warm-loving butterflies are moving northward as a result of climate change.

In an exciting step for butterfly conservation, data from thirteen countries across Europe (including Ireland) was brought together for the first time. Analyses of the data have shown a northward shift of Europe’s butterfly communities equivalent to 75km between 1990 and 2009. Butterfly monitoring schemes have been run in some countries for over 30 years with most of the work being done by volunteers. “These cost-effective monitoring schemes are providing invaluable data on climate change and it’s impacts on biodiversity” explains Dr. Eugenie Regan, co-ordinator of the Irish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, “and worryingly the data is showing that butterflies are not keeping pace with climate change which could lead to some butterflies becoming extinct.”

The report published by Butterfly Conservation Europe and Dutch Butterfly Conservation can be downloaded here.

VS2010-025 Impact of climate change on butterfly communities 1990-2009