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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 June 2006, 19:30 GMT 20:30 UK
Rare butterfly makes a comeback
Adonis Blue butterfly
The Adonis seeks out chalky slopes (pic courtesy Sophie Lenham )
A rare butterfly has been spotted in Buckinghamshire for the first time in 27 years.

The Adonis Blue butterfly, which had disappeared from the county, was spotted at the Butlers Hangings Nature Reserve near High Wycombe.

The only recorded sighting of the butterfly on the reserve was in 1979.

Experts at the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) said it is possible it could have arrived in the county because of a changing climate.

It is possible that it is an early beneficiary of a changing climate
Debbie Lewis, BBOWT's species survey officer
The butterfly can be spotted at a distance because it is bright electric blue with a distinctive black and white border at its wing tips.

It has very specific habitat requirements seeking out steep, south-facing chalk slopes where the vegetation is very short.

Debbie Lewis, BBOWT's species survey officer, said: "We cannot draw any conclusions from one sighting, but it is exciting news.

"It is possible that it is an early beneficiary of a changing climate.

"The hot, dry weather we have been enjoying recently suits the Adonis Blue perfectly."

It is thought to be at the northern limit of its range in Bucks.

Another theory is that rabbits keep the turf nice and short, which butterflies such as these seem to like.

BBOWT manages 90 nature reserves across the three counties as well as working with other agencies on safeguarding the wider countryside.

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