Butterflies 'at risk of extinction' due to sodden 2012

  • 26 March 2013
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The UK's butterflies suffered a 'catastrophic' year in 2012, with most species declining, a new study shows.

Of the 56 species that were looked at, 52 saw their numbers drop compared to 2011.

Thirteen had their worst year since 1976.

The year 2012 was one of the wettest on record and it's thought this meant the creatures struggled to find food and shelter.

Threatened butterfly species were already experiencing declines before last year's wet weather, but now wildlife experts warn struggling butterflies could become extinct in some areas of the UK.

In the study only four species saw their numbers increase.

These include the grass-feeding Meadow Brown whose numbers rose by a fifth and the Scotch Argus which thrives in damp conditions - its numbers increased by over 50 per cent.