"Butterflies play essential role in pollinating wild plants and crops. Which
makes a new study published in Science on Thursday such bad news. It shows the
climate crisis is posing an existential threat to their survival, particularly
in the American West.
The researchers—who hail from Tennessee, Arizona, California, and
Texas—combined three datasets on butterfly observations. The first, from a
University of California professor, included 45 years of data from California.
The second, from the North American Butterfly Association, contained 27 years
of data compiled by experts and citizen scientists across America. And the
third was from the the global iNaturalist web platform in which volunteers can
log butterfly observations on an app.
The research focused on 450 species of butterfly populations from Washington
down to California and stretching as far east as Montana and New Mexico. That
area, the scientists write, is “particularly useful for understanding the
effects of climate change on insects” because it’s been ground-zero for warming
and drying trends. It also has a variety of ecosystems and elevations, and
includes all kinds of land uses from cities to protected parks to farms.
Across that region, the team observed a precipitous decline of 1.6% in the
number of butterflies every year over the past four decades."
Via Frederick Wilson II.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics