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Beds butterfly data revealed

Undated handout photo issued by the Butterfly Conservation of a Meadow Brown butterfly.  Butterflies that feed on grasses were one of the few winners in the second wettest year on record, a scientific survey revealed today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday January 17, 2013. The incessant rain from April, following an unusually hot start to the year, prompted substantial grass growth which benefited species such meadow browns, ringlets and gatekeeper butterflies. But 2012 proved to be a washout for most butterfly species which struggled in the constantly wet and cool conditions. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Butterflies. Photo credit should read: Jim Asher/Butterfly Conservation /PA Wire 

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Undated handout photo issued by the Butterfly Conservation of a Meadow Brown butterfly. Butterflies that feed on grasses were one of the few winners in the second wettest year on record, a scientific survey revealed today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday January 17, 2013. The incessant rain from April, following an unusually hot start to the year, prompted substantial grass growth which benefited species such meadow browns, ringlets and gatekeeper butterflies. But 2012 proved to be a washout for most butterfly species which struggled in the constantly wet and cool conditions. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Butterflies. Photo credit should read: Jim Asher/Butterfly Conservation /PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Certain species of butterflies in Bedfordshire have thrived despite 2012 being the second-wettest year on record.

Grass-feeding species thrived on the substantial grass growth, prompted by last year’s incessant rain.

A total of 913 meadow browns were spotted in Beds – 18,500 in total across the country – about twice as many as in 2011.

The top three species spotted in Beds were the meadow brown – which made up 54 per cent of total sightings – small white, and ringlet.

Overall however, 2012 was not a good year with recorders reporting 43 per cent fewer species on average than in 2011 survey counts.

The findings are from the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey 2012, conducted by the British Trust for Ornithology and Butterfly Conservation.

Survey co-ordinator Dr Zoë Randle said: “Last year was fantastic for the Meadow Brown however the overall picture is that butterfly populations are suffering in the wider countryside and this needs to be addressed urgently.”

Kate Risely, another survey co-ordinator, said: “Record-breaking rainfall during the summer months affected birds and butterflies alike, and many species suffered a disastrous season.

“Credit is due to all the volunteer recorders who braved the weather and collected this valuable data on butterfly populations.

 

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