Azara Blog: Joan Ruddock loves butterflies

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Date published: 2008/04/24

The BBC says:

Butterflies need a warm summer in order to help numbers recover from last year's washout, say conservationists.

Data from the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme showed that eight species were at an all-time low as a result of an unsuccessful summer in 2007.

The main reason behind the decline was an above average rainfall, which meant the insects, such as the common blue, had fewer chances to feed or breed.

Early forecasts suggest this summer could be wetter than average.

Biodiversity Minister Joan Ruddock said that the government would support recovery projects.

"Butterflies are a vital element of the British summer," she said. "Their numbers indicate whether or not there are problems in the countryside.

"Butterfly populations also indicate the speed and extent of climate change. We will provide every encouragement for those working to conserve them."

Anybody who has studied population biology for more than ten minutes knows full well that populations go up and they go down every year, and not just by trivial amounts. And if some reason this is a real long-term decline due mainly to climate change, then trying to "conserve" them is going to be a spectacular waste of time and money. It is just fighting big time against Mother Nature (something "conservationists" seem to spend most of their time doing).

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