[permaculture] butterfly conservation

Kai Vido kaivido at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 24 05:43:56 EDT 2006

Related to the issue of biodiversity conservation, and butterfly restoration in particular, I
quote Dr. Henrik Jorgensen of Denmark:  

"Although haymeadows are man-made biotopes, they typically contain surprisingly rich plant and
animal life. With few exceptions, those in Denmark have been abandoned and now grow tall, coarse
vegetation or are turned into forest plantations of mostly conifers.

"Experiments with restoration have shown that, with renewed hay cutting, it is possible to regain
a remarkably high degree of biodiversity. In one example of a Danish forest meadow of less than
one hectare [2.4 acres] that was abandoned shortly after World War II: after ten years of correct
management it now hosts 144 species of vascular plants, compared to 70 species at the outset of
restorative cutting (many of which were very scarce and clearly disappearing!)

"In the zoological record of this meadow are 5 species of reptiles (the number known in Denmark),
7 species of amphibians, 18 species of damselflies and dragonflies and 23 species of butterflies.
For instance, in his article "Butterflies of the Forest Meadow" (p.34 in URT), leading Danish
lepidopterologist Michael Stoltze, who works for The Danish Society for Nature Conservation,
states: 'There is no doubt that restoration of haymeadows or even the judicious mowing of very
small areas is highly beneficial to many of the most threatened Danish butterflies.... The reward
for the restorative effort comes relatively fast because butterfly populations can sometimes react
so quickly.'"

For more on the meadow restoration efforts underway in Denmark, the Czech Republic, Wales and
elsewhere, and why scythe-mowing is the best restoration method, please see the photo essay at:


--- "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <lfl at intrex.net> wrote:

> BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | UK butterfly species down to 56
> <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5205358.stm>
> Last Updated: Saturday, 22 July 2006, 02:03 GMT 03:03 UK
> Habitat loss has proved disastrous for some butterfly species
> Only 56 butterfly species now remain in Britain as others have fallen victim to disappearing
> habitat, a charity says.
> The Butterfly Conservation charity said urban sprawl, modern farming techniques and lack of
> woodland management had all 
> played their part in habitat loss.
> Hertfordshire has lost the most species - 17 - in the past century, with Bedfordshire, Suffolk
> and Lincolnshire having 
> lost 15 each.
> The list has been published ahead of the first Save Our Butterflies week.
> Cambridgeshire comes fifth on the "extinction" list, having lost 12 species, followed by Essex
> which has lost 11.
> Where butterflies are disappearing, nature generally is in trouble
> Martin Warren
> Butterfly Conservation
> Conservationist Dr Martin Warren, from the charity, said: "Butterfly species are becoming
> extinct county by county. It 
> is deeply worrying.
> "Butterflies in profusion tell us that nature is in balance. Where butterflies are disappearing,
> nature generally is in 
> trouble."
> He added: "These extinctions are the result of habitat loss. That's the result of either urban
> spread, lack of woodland 
> management or intensive farming practices."
> Lack of hills
> Warwickshire comes in at seventh in the table with nine species lost, making it the highest
> placed county outside of the 
> East of England.
> Dr Warren said: "Sadly, these counties in the East of England lack any serious hills which could
> have provided a refuge 
> from the plough."
> The species that has suffered most county extinctions is the High Brown Fritillary.
> It is found at only a fifth of the locations it was 40 years ago and is now seen in only eight
> British counties.
> Butterfly Conservation's report draws on findings in two major reports on butterfly declines
> published earlier this year.
> Save Our Butterflies Week will see Butterfly Conservation branches across the UK organising
> field trips and other events 
> to highlight butterfly declines.
> UK beetle species 'under threat'
> 21 Jun 06 |  UK
> Trust bid to save rare butterfly
> 25 May 06 |  Mid Wales
> UK butterflies: 'Glimmer of hope'
> 16 May 06 |  Science/Nature
> Butterfly Conservation
> The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture

More information about the permaculture mailing list