Photo of the Week #25: The plight of the butterfly

Source: IUCN Photo Library
Photographer: B. Riche & G. Davila

Butterflies are vital to ecosystems. They help pollinate fruit and vegetables and, second only to bees, they help put about 10% of our food on the table.

The quality of food is also said to be better when it comes from a countryside full of butterflies and bees – because they pollinate, spread seeds and ensure the best yield.

But butterflies are thought to be in decline. Almost three-quarters of UK butterfly species have declined in number in the last 10 years.

Launched today, Butterfly Conservation has launched its big survey, the Big Butterfly Count, amid concerns that the record-breaking rain over the past months in the UK could have hit their breeding season and caused populations to crash.

Sir David Attenborough, who is president of Butterfly Conservation said: ”Butterflies around the world are simply thrilling, but apart from that they are very important indicator species of what’s happening to our wildlife.”

The Big Butterfly Count runs from 14 July to 5 August – peak butterfly season.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organisation aimed at finding solutions to the most pressing environment and development challenges.

Read more on: Nature |