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The number of many butterfly species has fallen by almost 40% in 30 years

The number of 17 butterfly species distributed in Europe has declined 39 percent since 1990, TASS reported.
Data are provided by the European Butterfly Conservation Organisation with a centre in the Netherlands.

Scientists have studied butterfly populations in the Netherlands and the UK. In the Netherlands, they are down 50 percent since 1990. The number of 25 species has dropped, but at 16 it has increased, and the average number of nine more species has not decreased, BTA reports.

In the UK, the butterfly population has reduced by 50 per cent since 1976 However, there are positive trends there. About 30 percent of the species are expanding their range. And the number of many of them is growing.

Reasons for reducing butterfly populations in many European countries are shrinking the area of their habitats due to agricultural development, air and soil pollution with chemicals, climate change. However, the latter factor also has a positive influence because it allows heat-loving species to expand their area north. However, those accustomed to cooler climates either die or are forced to settle at a higher altitude.

For the conservation of the extinct butterfly species, scientists propose to monitor the status of their habitats, use more environmentally friendly farming methods and financial assistance to farmers who engage with them.

The results of the study are published in the journal. “Protocols of the American National Academy of Sciences.”

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