Page last updated at 23:48 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 00:48 UK

Extinction fear for butterflies

Mountain ringlet (Pic: Ken Willmott/Butterfly Conservation Scotland)
Sightings of mountain ringlet have been called for

The UK's only mountain dwelling species of butterfly could be wiped out in Scotland because of climate change, experts have warned.

Warmer temperatures are driving the mountain ringlet higher up hillsides in the search for cooler conditions.

Butterfly Conservation Scotland (BCS) has appealed to the public to report sightings as part of a Scottish Natural Heritage-funded project.

People are also asked to look for northern dart and netted mountain moth.

Paul Kirkland, BCS director, said ringlet faced a very real threat.

It is essential that we find out exactly what is hiding in the hills
Paul Kirkland
Butterfly Conservation Scotland

He said: "This butterfly is retreating higher up the hillsides as the warmer weather makes lower habitats unsuitable.

"The fear is that as climate change continues, this rare species will run out of mountain, and become extinct in Scotland."

The flip side of global warming has seen species which have died out in the south surviving in Scotland.

They include chequered skipper butterfly, Kentish glory and New Forest Burnet moth.

Mr Kirkland said: "There are already parts of Scotland harbouring butterflies that have become extinct in England, and the largely unspoilt landscape found in the uplands is an increasingly important habitat.

"It is essential that we find out exactly what is hiding in the hills."

There are 33 species of butterfly that regularly breed in Scotland and about 1,300 species of moths.




SEE ALSO
Butterflies 'could help tourism'
19 Mar 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Butterfly's rare visit to capital
13 Oct 06 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Climate change brings butterflies
25 Jul 06 |  Scotland
UK butterflies: 'Glimmer of hope'
16 May 06 |  Science/Nature

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific