Scientists baffled over mysterious decline of peacock butterflies in UK
However, the summer of 2016 was warmer than average and much drier in England than the previous worst year for butterflies.
New Delhi: The sudden change in weather patterns is spelling bad news for the colurful colonies of peacock butterflies in United Kingdom (UK), as per The Big Butterfly Count.
Wales and Britain are the main countries where the population of butterflies has declined badly since last year. The extreme weather events like sunless summer, cool spring and mild winter increased the mortality of caterpillars and limits the ability of adult butterflies to find mates and lay eggs.
According to The Guardian, the average number of butterflies seen by participants in the count was the lowest ever, with once-common garden butterflies such as the small tortoiseshell dropping by 47% compared to last year and the peacock falling by 42%.
However, the summer of 2016 was warmer than average and much drier in England than the previous worst year for butterflies. But still, this year has reported a crash in their numbers.
Scientists are completely clueless about low numbers of butterflies and therefore describing this situation as “a shock and a mystery”. “The drop in butterfly numbers this summer has been a shock,” said Richard Fox of Butterfly Conservation. “When we have cold, wet summers, as in 2012, we expect butterfly populations to plummet, but that wasn’t the case this year.