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Butterflies Endangered

By Aditi Chengappa     Jul 15, 2008 in World
The delicate winged beauties are growing lesser in number at an alarming rate, loss of these unassuming creatures would be lethal to the food chain if not heartbreaking to lose the sheer pleasure of watching them hover over blossoms...
Worldwide there is a reported loss and decrease in the number of butterflies,
the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) stated that at least 23 species of the graceful insects are now endangered.
Conservationists point to habitat loss as the prime concern for butterflies. Butterflies favor meadows and grasslands, however, these ecosystems are so easy to convert into subdivisions, farms and industrial parks, hence butterflies are constantly facing a threat to their homes.
Conservation and breeding is complicated as their life cycles are complex and versatile.
Global Warming also poses a threat to butterflies as it does to most creatures, in North America, butterfly experts report that butterflies cannot survive in over-heated areas, when the habitat gets too hot, they fly higher. A study in Spain showed that butterflies have shifted their ranges over 700 feet in the last 30 years.
Besides being an aesthetic delight, Butterflies are vital for the role they play in pollination and in the food chain. However global warming is also causing the host plants that butterflies feed on to dry up before they reach them.
Karner blue butterflies once flew over states from Minnesota to Maine, living in grassy, sandy barrens and savannas cleared periodically by natural fires.
However, fire suppression and development reduced the insect’s numbers; by 1992, only six states still had Karner blues.
But federal and state wildlife agencies, universities, zoos and nonprofits have been rearing Karner blues to reintroduce to the wild.
“We’re working our way to recovering viable populations throughout its range,” says Cathy Carnes, the Wisconsin-based Karner blue recovery coordinator for FWS. “People recognize that by recovering Karner blues they’re doing more than saving one species, they are restoring imperiled ecosystems and a host of other species that depend on them.”
It is clear global warming has its deadly grasp on the natural world, it is disheartening if not heartbreaking to see how even this small innocent and hard-working creature has also been affected. It can only be hoped that with help, the subtle friendly beauties shall be seen in the same flourish again...
More about Butterflies, Endangered, Global warming