Are pesticides killing our butterflies?
A study released today has found evidence linking the use of pesticides with declines of butterflies and moths in the UK.
In light of this shocking revelation Butterfly Conservation is asking for your help to carry out more detailed analysis to find specific proof that these chemicals are responsible so we can persuade the Government to review their use.
The study, by Stirling University in association with Butterfly Conservation, looked particularly at Neonicotinoids (Neonics). These were introduced in the mid -1990’s and are widely used on crops and also sold for use in gardens.
Why are Neonics such a problem?
They are a new type of highly toxic chemical which acts as a nerve agent for insects.
They stay in the environment and reach all parts of the treated crop including surrounding soil.
They get into water courses and adjacent habitats such as field margins and hedgerows where many insects breed.
They spread into pollen and nectar in wildflower strips specifically sown to help butterflies.
In the USA there is strong evidence that these pesticides are killing Monarch butterflies because Neonic residues are getting into milkweed plants that grow around arable crops. The same phenomenon could be happening here in Britain – we must find out and stop it continuing!