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Last Updated: Wednesday April 08 2009 15:42 GMT

Rain threatens UK butterflies

Butterfly

The rain and cold of the past few summers has hit our butterfly populations hard.

Conservationists say that the wet conditions have made it difficult for the creatures to breed.

Most butterflies need sunny conditions to survive. But the rain and cold of last summer caused numbers to drop quite sharply.

Experts are hoping that most of the species will bounce back this summer as long as the weather stays warm.

Dr Tom Brereton from the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme said: "A lot of the commoner species, if we get the right conditions, should be OK."

But it's possible some may have already been wiped out by insects and small animals this winter.

We can help

There are things we can do to help butterflies like plant colourful flowers in our gardens and let the grass grow as the caterpillars of a lot of British butterflies are grass eaters.