Common Species of Butterfly Are Heavily Declining, According to 21 Year Study

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Butterflies are on the decline in America, as this study shows.

The longest and most in depth insect monitoring program ever undertaken in North America has shown that over the last 21 years of the program, the abundance of butterflies in Ohio has declined every year by approximately 2%, with an overall drop of 31% since the study began.

Although the study was limited to just one geographic area, and one group of insect class, it is indicative of what’s happening more broadly with insects populations due to climate change and other disturbances caused by humans, according to the author of the study.

The findings are also in line with similar studies on butterflies carried out in many European countries.

The study was led by Oregon State University teacher Tyson Wepprich, who said:

“These declines in abundance are happening in common species. Declines in common species concern me because it shows that there are widespread environmental causes for the declines affecting species we thought were well adapted to share a landscape with humans.”

He also went on to explain that “common species are also the ones that contribute the bulk of the pollination or bird food to the ecosystem, so their slow, consistent decline is likely having ripple effects beyond butterfly numbers.”

Read more at: Oregon State University