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Old 06-30-2009, 07:31 PM   #1
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Default UK- See Them While You Can: Endangered Butterfly Gallery

See Them While You Can: Endangered Butterfly Gallery
* By Brandon Keim Email Author
* June 15, 2009 |
* 7:02 pm

See Them While You Can: Endangered Butterfly Gallery | Wired Science | Wired.com
excerpts from above:
One of six members of the Maculinea family, it was once found throughout England but had vanished by the early 1970s. That’s when University of Oxford ecologist Jeremy Thomas went to study the island’s last remaining population.
Thomas found that this chemical trickery worked on only a single species of ant, Myrmica sabuleti, and M. sabuleti was also in trouble. Because well-meaning farmers had stopped grazing their livestock in the butterflies’ habitat and a virus had depleted wild rabbit populations, hillside grasses grew so long that soil temperatures dropped by several degrees, or just enough to become inhospitable to M. sabuleti.

By 1979, the last Large Blue butterfly colony was dead, but Thomas’ observations survived. Conservationists reintroduced grazing animals, cleared the hillsides and imported large blue butterflies from Sweden. As of last year, butterfly populations have returned to pre-decline levels.
The tendency of man's nature to good is like the tendency of water to flow downwards.
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