Climate change raises a great deal of uncertainty for the future of many species, including Lepidoptera.
Aside from more extreme and frequent weather events, the prospect of warming climates could bring opportunities for some species (e.g. Brown Argus), and threats for others, as suitable climate envelopes are expected to generally shift polewards. As highly climate-sensitive species with rapid generations and potential for dispersal, southern restricted butterfly species in the UK have garnered increasing interest, and the prospect of northward expansion through the country as previously too-cool areas become climatically suitable. Many of these southern butterflies are early successional specialists and therefore as a group disproportionately in decline, and there are hopes that climate change could ‘rescue’ some of these species and slow/reverse the downward trends. MORE
Header image: Fiona Bell.