Friday, January 13, 2006

Delight as rare butterflies seen

Conservationists say rare butterflies are thriving at a nature reserve in a Teesside town.

Examples of Speckled Wood, White-Letter Hairstreak and Clouded Yellow species were among those spotted on the Hart to Haswell Walkway in Hartlepool.

Scientists have said some butterflies are moving northwards as a result of climate change.

The Speckled Wood was first seen in the area last year but the White-Letter Hairstreak had not been seen for years.

Hartlepool Council local nature reserves officer Joe Davis said: "The Speckled Wood is a butterfly which is slowly moving northwards due to climate change.

"The White-Letter Hairstreak hadn't been seen on the Walkway for several years, so many people thought it had long disappeared.

"We were especially thrilled to see a Clouded Yellow, which migrates from southern Europe in May.

"There are normally fewer than 500 seen each year in the whole of Britain, so it was an extremely rare sighting."


Friday, January 06, 2006

Flutter by the Caymans

Visitors to the Cayman Islands can give themselves a break from the sun, sea and sand routine to visit a series of beautiful, landscaped butterfly farms which attract thousands of people every year.

The most recent of the butterfly farms, opened in George Town on Grand Cayman has been open since February 2003, and like the other farms, boasts huge meshed enclosed gardens with ponds, fish, waterfalls and, of course, hundreds of butterflies from around the world.

Educational as well as aesthetic, the butterfly farms offer tours of the compound which allow visitors the chance to learn about the evolutionary cycle of butterflies from weird and wonderful caterpillars to butterflies as well as proving some interesting facts about these spectacular insects. If you're really lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a new butterfly emerging from its cocoon.

The farm recommends that visitors wear bright colours and perfume if they want butterflies to land on them, so it is an ideal occasion to show off your best Hawaiian shirts!

The farm near George Town is open all year round.


Conservationists Sue to Protect Butterfly

The Associated Press
Friday, January 6, 2006; 9:39 AM

RENO, Nev. -- Conservationists sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday seeking protection for a rare butterfly they say is threatened by off-road vehicles at one of the largest sand dunes in the West.

Environmentalists want the agency to declare the Sand Mountain blue butterfly an endangered species because, they say, its habitat is being destroyed at the only place it is known to live _ the Sand Mountain Recreation Area in western Nevada.

This undated image provided by the Bureau of land Management, shows the Sand Mountain blue butterfly at the Sand Mountain Recreation Area, east of Fallon, Nev. Conservationists filed a lawsuit against the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2006, in an ongoing battle over protection of the rare Nevada butterfly and off-road vehicle use at a one of the largest sand dunes in the West. (AP Photo/Bureau of Land Management)

The Bureau of Land Management controls activities at the dune, which is 600 feet tall and stretches for two miles. It attracts an estimated 50,000 off-roaders annually on motorcycles, dune buggies and all-terrain vehicles.

Full Story