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Severe droughts could lead to widespread losses of butterflies by 2050

Widespread drought-sensitive butterfly population extinctions could occur in the UK as early as 2050 according to a new study published today in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change.

However, the authors conclude that substantial greenhouse gas emission reductions combined with better management of landscapes, in particular reducing habitat fragmentation, will greatly improve the chances of drought-sensitive butterflies flying until at least 2100.

The study was led by Dr Tom Oliver from the UK’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) in collaboration with colleagues from CEH, the charity Butterfly Conservation, Natural England and the University of Exeter.

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