A new study suggests that six butterfly species could face extinction in Britain by 2050, due to climate change.
Tom Oliver, lead author of the study, ecologist at the Center for Ecology and Hydrology in the UK, pointed out that the consequences of the drought are notable and severe.
Dr. Oliver explained that the species would not face absolute extinction, but they could disappear in a dry area such as Southeast England.
To flourish, butterflies need places of refuge, havens, in order to deflect the effects of climate change. Protecting wilderness areas could ensure, or, at least increase their chance of survival.
Oliver concluded that the quality of the ecosystem has to be improved. Drought and rising temperatures may become devastating to these tiny insects.
Researchers pointed out that, in 1995, over a fifth of the butterfly species in Britain faced population collapse.
The vulnerable species that are inclined to disappear are: the green-veined white butterfly, the large white, the small white, the large skipper, the ringlet and the speckled wood butterfly. Nowadays they are pretty common.
The Green-veined White (scientific denomination: Pieris napi) is a butterfly pertaining to the Pieridae family. It is a florist region species found in meadows, woodland glades and hedgerows, not commonly spotted in parks and gardens, unlike its related species: the Large and Small Whites. It is often mistaken with the latter ones.
The female Green-veined Whites exhibit spots on their fore-wings, whereas males do not have this pattern. The veins on the wings of females are more prominent, heavily marked. It gained its denomination due to its underside wings, which are pale yellow, while their veins are highlighted by black scales offering a greenish nuance.
It usually lays its eggs, unlike the Large and Small Whites, on wild crucifers, informally known as the mustard flowers. The Large and Small White butterflies are inclined to lay eggs on cabbage plants from gardens.
A similar species to the green-veined white butterfly is the Small White –Pieirs Rapae. This fellow is also known as the small cabbage white. They are white, presenting small black dots on its wings. These are feeble creatures and their wings coloration expresses purity.
A species of the same family, the Piearidae, is the Large White, also denominated cabbage butterfly.
On the other hand, the Large Skipper pertains to the Hesperiidaefamily. They display a faint checkered pattern on their wings. Their habitat is represented by areas where wild grass grows tall, for instance woodland clearings. As an active creature, it is attracted to various flowers, especially to blackberry bushes, for example.
The Ringlet is a medium-sized butterfly, which has brown wings with small yellow spots on them. Their habitat includes forest clearings with bushes, in grassy, moist or dry regions. It belongs to theNymphalidae family.
Last but not least, the speckled wood butterfly is found, as its denomination suggest, near woodland areas. Their cute wings coloration ranges from orange to brown, white, pale yellow, cream or tawny orange spots. It feeds on various grass species.
Unfortunately, butterflies in other countries where the impact of climate change is significant may also be in danger. This means that our biodiversity could be majorly affected, as drought may altogether have a nefarious impact on other insect species, such as beetles, bees and dragonflies. These other species function as a helping hand for humans by consuming pests, pollinating crops and decomposing waste elements.