Can gardens still help this years butterflies

It’s clearly coming towards the end of a washout summer and one of the insects that have really bared the brunt of the adverse weather is the butterfly. The cold and wet weather has meant that numbers are well down in many parts of the UK. However if you end up having a bit of an ‘Indian Summer’ then gardeners could offer last-minute help as the insects prepare for the winter. Over the last couple of weeks there has been some warm and sunny days that has led to a big boost in butterfly numbers out on the wing but the plants on which the butterflies feed and rely on are now fast…

Common herbicides reduce butterfly populations by up to a third

New research just published by a team from Washington State University indicates that commonly used weed-killers that were previously thought to be safe can have damaging impacts on butterfly populations and threaten the survival of the rarest species. The team from the ecotoxicology department was asked by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to examine the impacts of three commonly used herbicides on the larvae of the highly endangered Lange’s metalmark. The three herbicides: triclopyr, sethoxydim and imazapyr, are regularly used to maintain the last habitat of the butterfly during conservation measures. Butterfly larvae exposed to common herbicides led to reduced adult populations. Because of the highly threaten nature of the Lange’s metalmark – now down to…