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Farms in UK Saved This Beautiful Duke of Burgundy Butterfly From Extinction

Charlie Jackson, CC license

The UK loves its butterflies – its Butterfly Conservation is the world’s largest insect-focused conservation organization, helping another species rebound from dangerously low numbers.

Ten years ago, the Duke of Burgundy butterfly, named after an aristocrat from a faraway land, was found only in the Southern Lake District and the North York fells. At the time it was the rarest butterfly in Britain.

In the previous two decades, their number had fallen 46%. Now its population, of which newly emerged adults will prepare to take flight in the May winds, has grown by 25% between 2010 and 2020.

The Dukes on the Edge Conservation Program by the Butterfly Conservation was launched in 2011 in response to lousy population surveys, and included 23 hectares of habitat restoration, management advice for 147 different sites where the Dukes were present, and brought together 1,000 volunteers, from landowners to citizens. concerned locals.

The Duke’s recovery was well summed up when last spring a writer and butterfly enthusiast stumbled upon the largest individual colony in the country.

MORE: Photographer captures his passion for butterfly flight and details 17 species in a 3-year study

The colony was found, according to the guardian, in the hills of an organic Dorset dairy farm whose owner has proudly supported butterfly habitat, including the Duke, in his fields for 20 years.

A force for good

Charlie Jackson, CC license

The Conservation of butterflies has championed the cause of hundreds of different species in decline. They convinced the UK government to use moths and butterflies as official indicators of biodiversity and to manage 190 nature reserves in the country while holding 1,600 events a year to promote awareness of these insects and what they need to thrive in and around human civilization. .

RELATED: The great blue butterflies are extinct in England, but now those beauties are back after 50 years

Dark brown in color with spots of orange peel on the outer halves of its wings, it’s no wonder the Duke of Burgundy butterfly can remain hidden in such large numbers. Males are solitary except during mating season when they compete with other males for territory, while females and caterpillars deliberately hide under leaves in thickets and sunny forest glades.

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