Earlier this week I reported that some rare British butterflies had seen a 600% increase in numbers. With the hot, dry UK Spring continuing to offer perfect conditions for caterpillars, this coming summer could also be a success story. But butterfly enthusiast Patrick Barkham writes over at The Guardian that we should not count our chickens, or butterflies, before they are hatched. And he warns that butterfly lovers will most likely complain about the weather either way. In so doing, he illustrates just how fragile any success stories in conservation can be. Just one more reason to nurture resilience and tread lightly wherever we can:
This is great news - except that butterfly lovers are a bit like farmers: they are never happy with the weather. If the summer stays dry, the drought will lead to many butterflies dying in their pupal stage, or emerging with crippled wings because of the lack of moisture. If it turns wet, butterflies will become trapped in the pupal stage. This happened in 2007, when an amazing April was followed by catastrophic floods in midsummer as the jet stream moved south.