Multiply butterfly: Increase in Dutch butterfly population

You are likely to see more butterflies floating around this summer, says butterfly protection organisation the Butterfly Foundation. The group writes of an explosion in the butterfly population on biology website Nature Today.

Every year, the foundation coordinates an annual butterfly count, where volunteers count every butterfly they see in their garden during a fifteen minute period. The organisation collates the information into a report on the status of the butterfly population in the country.

According to the findings, the count in the first two weeks of July was low but during the weekend of July 17 – 18th, the number of butterflies being seen increased sharply.

The group attributes the growth mostly to weather. ‘The explanation for this massive emergence can be found in the fact that there was much more rain this spring than in previous years,’ the organisation writes. More rain is better for plants, and that provides an excellent food source for caterpillars.

These results are preliminary and the counting project will continue until the end of the month. If you want to help out, you can submit your count via the website.

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