10% of Europe's butterflies in danger of extinction, report warns

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - 06:21 in Biology & Nature

Insects hit by loss of grassland habitats due to intensification of agriculture and abandonment of farming landAlmost one-third of Europe's butterflies are in decline and nearly one in 10 species is threatened with extinction in the region, conservationists warned today.The large blue butterfly – which was successfully reintroduced to the UK after dying out here – is endangered throughout Europe, according to the European red list assessment of species at risk.And the Duke of Burgundy and Lulworth skipper, which both suffered their worst year in the UK last year, are in decline in many countries across the continent.The release of the red list, commissioned by the European commission, also revealed that 14% of dragonflies and 11% of a group of beetles which rely on decaying wood were at risk of extinction.Some 22 species of butterfly, 29 types of the "saproxylic" beetles and five different dragonflies are also at risk of...

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