Colorful butterflies flitting across the garden are a pretty sight to behold. But how many of us really think about them once they have flown away? The time has come that we pay more attention to these little creatures or we may soon miss them.
Arthur Shapiro is a butterfly expert who has spent 35 years of his life collecting database of observations made fortnightly at ten different sites. The observations are made at different levels starting at sea level to the tree line.
He has come up with startling revelations. The database revealed that butterfly diversity at sites near the sea level is fast deteriorating. The situation is not that bad in the mountains. The diversity has increased at tree line as species from lower elevations have moved up to escape the warming at lower ground level. The increased temperatures have left no habitat for the butterflies at higher altitudes as in Shapiro words, “they have no where to go except heaven.”
Climate change is not the sole responsible factor for this change in butterfly diversity. Another major factor is the conversion of rural land to sub-urban and urban land. The constant change in habitat has caught up with the sturdy, beautiful, butterfly species which are now decreasing in number.
They are now slowly moving towards extinction to the surprise of most butterfly enthusiasts.