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Global Warming May Mean the End of Some Butterflies

In the UK, 11 species of butterflies are making their earliest recorded appearances this spring, which means they will die off earlier in the season as well, since butterflies typically live for a very short time. Some species of butterflies are in the UK are being seen in new areas. Reports on butterfly populations in the US are not available, probably because of the "lid" put on reporting about global warming by the current administration.

In the Independent, Michael McCarthy writes that "For several years biologists have been watching warming temperatures affect living organisms, with leaves opening, birds nesting and insects emerging earlier. But what has happened in 2007 with butterflies has been quite exceptional. Of our 59 resident and regular migrant species, 37 have now appeared, and of these, all except one (the orange tip) have emerged earlier than they would have done a decade ago, according to the wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation."

A more permanent butterfly move is reported by Sarah Mukherjee in the BBC News, who writes that the adonis blue butterfly can now be seen in southern England and Ireland, which is at the northern limit of its climatic range. She says, "It has declined over the last 200 years and has been lost from the northern part of its British range."

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

William Henry may not know the language of the butterflies, but he says he has deciphered the language of the birds. And you can listen to Linda Howe's report about weird aerial objects on Dreamland!

To learn more, click here and here.

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