Monday, October 25, 2010

Endangered butterfly spreads its wings in England

A butterfly that is endangered in Britain has recently made some unexpected gains, conservationists said. The wet and cold British weather means the rare Duke of Burgundy butterfly normally reproduces once a year and is confined to the country's southern coast.

But conservationists have found evidence that the brown-and-orange butterfly has reproduced twice this year. Matthew Oates, a conservation adviser with the National Trust, said a second brood of the declining species has only been recorded three times since 1893. Oates said warmer temperatures in Britain—closer to those found in southern Europe, where the Duke of Burgundy is also found—have allowed the butterfly to flourish. The butterfly has been spotted in the county of Gloucestershire, much farther north than its usual habitat.

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