Butterfly Extinction A Reality For 450 Species: Rapid Decline In Western US

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The epitome of cheerfulness, color, and sunshine could soon disappear from the face of the earth. And that could have undreamed-of consequences for the environment. Butterfly extinction is a strong possibility as 75% of butterflies species are in decline in Britain alone, and 4 species have disappeared in the last century and a half.

The remaining 56 species in Ireland and Britain are facing an unprecedented change in the environment. Moths and butterflies are sensitive creatures and are strong indicators of biodiversity. The extreme fragility makes them react earlier to any adverse change in the environment.

The main reason for butterfly extinction, as with most other species on earth, is the destruction of their habitat. Changing weather and climate patterns caused by atmospheric pollution and global warming have affected such delicate and complex creatures the most. And their destruction portends to many dire consequences in the future than merely the loss of one of the most beautiful creatures on earth.

Halting butterfly extinction will have an enriching effect on the whole environment. It is for the preservation of mankind that we must ensure that the fragile creatures flourish on earth.

Increase In Autumnal Temperatures Greatest Reason For Butterfly Extinction 

The biggest danger that can lead to butterfly extinction is the gradual increase in worldwide temperatures from the tropics to the Arctic circle. And the biggest drop in their numbers has been seen in regions that have seen the greatest rise in temperatures.

The southwestern part of the US has seen the greatest increase in autumnal temperature. For instance, Arizona has witnessed an increase of 0.2F every decade relentlessly since the 1890s. This has led to the decline of the West Coast Lady butterfly, an orange-black vibrant variety. Its numbers have gone down by over 3% every year.

Professor Matthew Forister from the Nevada University in Reno says that butterfly extinction is a strong possibility across species. He says an increase in autumn temperatures poses as much of a threat as a temperature rise in spring.

Read: Flight Of The Monarch Butterfly May Soon Be A Thing Of The Past

Studies conducted by several institutions and organizations such as the North American Butterfly Association and the National Geographic Society have revealed the possibility of butterfly extinction even in areas considered safe for the species, like the Castle Peak in California.

Warmer temperatures are forcing the butterflies out of hibernation and this is leading to starvation. The study concluded that climate change continues to be the greatest threat and only measures to control it can save the butterflies from extinction.

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