I have been thinking about butterflies and butterfly conservation lately. I know it is winter, but that is the way it goes.
It seems to me that butterfly conservation efforts focus on the rare. The Poweshiek skipper that I have as the theme of this blog is an example.
But if we look around, we have to say that we have greatly reduced the number of common butterflies as well. Our cities have concrete or closely cropped grass–not good butterfly habitat. Our agricultural fields are sprayed to remove weeds–habitat–from between the rows, in addition to the insectide sprays that kill insects.
If you were to go outside on a hot summer day, how many butterflies would be in the air, in comparison to what would have been there prior to our intensive modification of the environment? I am fairly confident that the number would be less than 1% of the original numbers. Is it even less than that? I don’t know.
Are there things we can do to increase those numbers? I think so.