|Sir David Attenborough campaigns to save the butterfly|
|Tuesday, 05 April 2011 16:55|
Did you know five species of butterfly have already become extinct in the UK and almost half the remaining 56 species are under threat of extinction.
The country's butterflies have been in declining in numbers for decades, with the trend accelerating in recent years. Today more than 70 per cent of butterfly species are declining, wildlife organisation Butterfly Conservation said.
The conservation organisation found that declines in even common species. Numbers have decreased in the past decade, with numbers of small tortoiseshell tumbling by 68% and peacock butterflies dropping by 30% in the last 10 years. Butterfly Conservation is calling on gardeners to plant buddleia, Verbena bonariensis, perennial wallflowers (Bowles' mauve), lavender and marjoram (oregano), which are all great sources of nectar for the insects.
They will also be in full bloom in late July when Butterfly Conservation conducts its Big Butterfly Count, in which it hopes tens of thousands of people will take part to establish how butterflies are faring.
Sir David Attenborough, president of Butterfly Conservation, said: ''Butterfly numbers are falling.
''Butterfly Conservation scientists have demonstrated that these declines can be reversed.
''If you change the environment to help butterflies, all sorts of other wildlife benefits too. Nature comes back to life.''
Mike Dilger, wildlife reporter for the BBC's The One Show, who marked the launch of the ''planting for butterflies'' campaign by helping Bristol Grammar School students create a butterfly garden in the school grounds, said butterflies were ''intrinsically valuable''.
''They are sensitive to environmental change and their well-being tells us a lot about the health of the countryside. Sadly development and intensive farming have caused a significant drop in numbers over the last 50 years,'' he said.
''Planting for butterflies is a chance to reverse this decline. Just put some lavender in a pot or a bit of buddleia in your flower bed and you can help make a difference.''Quote this article on your site
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Sir David Attenborough campaigns to save the butterfly
Tuesday, 05 April 2011
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