Butterflies including moths are a group of insects from the order Lepidoptera. The adult butterflies are characterized by bright colorful large wings. Moths hide during the day and fly during the night. Butterflies use chemical defense, camouflage, and other defensive adaptations in order to protect themselves from predators.
Habitat of Butterflies
The diverse variety of butterflies lives in different habitats. Some butterflies travel long distances. The common habitats where butterflies live include mountainous areas, grasslands, wetlands, forests, dunes, mangroves, salt marshes etc. So you can find butterflies everywhere – even in deserts!
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Importance of Butterflies
Butterflies are important pollinators. Like bees they pollinate flowers when they fly from one to another. Butterflies are thus not only beautiful, they are also extremely important for the environment. Pollination is a key source of fruit production in the world. You might also like to read Pollinator Decline of Bees – Causes, Effects and Solutions.
10 Reasons Why Butterflies are Dying
1- Climate Change
Warm autumns are occurring due to global climate change. Climate change is also making our world warmer, changing seasons and causing extreme weather events. So, it is pertinent fact that climate change is responsible for declining butterfly populations. More info, here: Climate change and its Causes and Effects.
2- Carbon emissions
The rising level of carbon emissions in the air due to anthropogenic activities and the resultant changes in the environmental conditions of the world like Global warming is threatening the populations of butterflies. More info: Global Warming – Causes, Effects, and Solutions.
3- Harmful Pesticides
Farmers use pesticides to control weed growth that in return prove to be dangerous for butterflies. Even though butterflies aren’t pests, pesticides still kill them.
4- Habitat Destruction
Habitat destruction such as logging trees or clearing gardens to make lawns is also one of the reasons. For more info: Modern Lawns Destroying Our Environment – Gardens Are Better.
5- Increasing Surface Temperature
Increasing surface temperature is one of the reasons for butterfly decline. Butterflies are having a difficult time adapting to such high temperatures and hot summers.
The use of insecticides such as neonicotinoids can kill butterflies.
7- Genetically Modified Crops
Genetically modified crops often cause the death of butterflies.
8- Air Pollution
Smoke is toxic for butterflies. The population growth of butterflies has been reduced due to increasing air pollution.
Changes in precipitation patterns due to climate changes lead to droughts. The dry weather conditions encourage bushfires/wildfires. Also check out: Global Heat Wave and Wildfires – Causes, Effects, Solutions.
10- Invasive species
Invasive plant species can kill the larvae of the butterflies. For more info, read: Introduction of Invasive Species – Causes, Effects, and Solutions.
How We Can Save Butterflies?
We can save butterflies in a number of ways.
- Growing plant species on which butterflies feed can increase them in number.
- The use of pesticides should be banned by the Government.
- People should not spray herbicide in their gardens.
- Genetically modified crops should be avoided.
- One of the solutions is switching to substitutes that could help to tackle climate changes.
- Native plant species can promote the biodiversity of butterflies.
- Habitat restoration is a critical point in saving butterflies.
- Banning illegal tree logging could be a helpful solution.
- Afforestation can help reduce the impacts of increasing carbon emissions in the air that threatens butterflies.
- People should be made aware of the importance of butterflies.
Also check out: Anthropogenic Factors That Cause Species Decline
Butterflies are pollinators that play a critical role in pollination. Climate change is not only affecting humans, animals but insects as well. Some of the key points that are causing the decline in the population of butterflies are climate change, the use of pesticides, and habitat destruction. Human activities are negatively impacting insects important for food production in the world.
Also check out Biodiversity Management Methods, Techniques And Importance
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