The conservation of declining butterfly populations in Britain and Europe: priorities, problems and successes

The conservation of declining butterfly populations in Britain and Europe: priorities, problems... The status, ecology and conservation of butterflies in Europe and Britain are reviewed, as a background to the National Trust's past and future contribution to British conservation. Britain has a poor butterfly fauna by European standards, the main areas of endemism and species richness being in the Alps and southern Europe. To date, the main declines among European butterfly populations have occurred across central‐northern Europe, with slightly higher extinction rates in mainland countries than in Britain. The main causes of decline are biotope destruction, the loss of certain species' habitats within surviving semi‐natural biotopes due to changed land management, and a failure by several species to track the patches of their habitat that are still being generated in modern fragmented landscapes. Until recently, most conservation programmes failed to take account of the latter two factors, resulting in many local extinctions of rare butterfly species even in conservation areas. Recent measures have been much more successful; many were first tested on National Trust properties. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Journal of the Linnean Society Oxford University Press

The conservation of declining butterfly populations in Britain and Europe: priorities, problems and successes

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 1995 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0024-4066
eISSN
1095-8312
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.1095-8312.1995.tb01120.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The status, ecology and conservation of butterflies in Europe and Britain are reviewed, as a background to the National Trust's past and future contribution to British conservation. Britain has a poor butterfly fauna by European standards, the main areas of endemism and species richness being in the Alps and southern Europe. To date, the main declines among European butterfly populations have occurred across central‐northern Europe, with slightly higher extinction rates in mainland countries than in Britain. The main causes of decline are biotope destruction, the loss of certain species' habitats within surviving semi‐natural biotopes due to changed land management, and a failure by several species to track the patches of their habitat that are still being generated in modern fragmented landscapes. Until recently, most conservation programmes failed to take account of the latter two factors, resulting in many local extinctions of rare butterfly species even in conservation areas. Recent measures have been much more successful; many were first tested on National Trust properties.

Journal

Biological Journal of the Linnean SocietyOxford University Press

Published: Dec 1, 1995

References

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