[UK-Leps] Grassland butterflies plummet across Europe

Chris Van Swaay chrisvanswaay at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 11 03:53:52 EST 2010

Hello Chrispin,

THE report can be downladed from the BCE site: http://www.bc-europe.eu/category.asp?catid=9 or directly: 

Also THE butterfly climate change report can be downloaded from http://www.bc-europe.eu/category.asp?catid=9.

Best wishes,

Chris van Swaay

Op 10 dec. 2010 om 21:09 heeft "Crispin Gmail" <crispinholloway at gmail.com> het volgende geschreven:

> Hi Neil,
> That is a really interesting piece of information, is it from a published report, if so do you have the full reference? I would be interested to see it in more detail.
> Crispin
> From: Neil Jones 
> Sent: Friday, December 10, 2010 7:21 PM
> To: uk-leps at yahoogroups.com ; leps-l at lists.yale.edu ; Entomology Discussion List 
> Subject: [UK-Leps] Grassland butterflies plummet across Europe
> Butterflies normally found on grassland are in steep decline across 
> Europe, pointing to a huge loss of European biodiversity.
> This is the conclusion of a new study by Butterfly Conservation Europe 
> based on data from 3,000 sites in 15 countries.
> The Grassland Butterfly Indicator shows that the populations of 17 
> butterfly species have declined by over 70% in the last 20 years. 
> Butterflies are sensitive environmental indicators; alerting us to 
> underlying problems with the environment. Grasslands are a vital habitat 
> for European wildlife and support a huge range of plants and insects. If 
> butterfly numbers are falling, inevitably other wildlife is also in 
> decline.
> The losses are thought to have been caused by rapidly changing 
> agricultural practices in Europe's diverse semi-natural grasslands. Such 
> grasslands have been created by traditional livestock grazing and 
> hay-making over centuries of human occupation since the last ice-age. 
> This management creates a wonderfully flower-rich breeding habitat for 
> butterflies and many other insects. However, in recent decades these 
> traditional grasslands have deteriorated, meaning loss due to 
> agricultural intensification in some regions and abandonment in others.
> The underlying forces behind the losses are rapid economic and social 
> changes, which have led to the intensification of better land and the 
> abandonment of land with poorer soils and in remote locations. 
> Abandonment is thought to be the most serious cause of losses in 
> mountain regions and eastern Europe, while lowland areas have suffered 
> most from intensification.
> Dr Martin Warren, Chief Executive at Butterfly Conservation (UK), said: 
> "The results show the dramatic and continuing loss of biodiversity in 
> European grasslands. We urgently need a change in EU agricultural policy 
> that favours High Nature Value farming rather than over-intensification 
> as at present. The results would be better for the environment and 
> better from rural communities who are struggling to survive under the 
> current system of support which favours larger more intensive producers."
> Butterflies are one of the best monitored groups of wildlife in Europe 
> and Butterfly Conservation Europe is pressing for them to be adopted as 
> agricultural indicators in the next round of Common Agricultural Policy 
> reform in 2013.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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