Rare Butterfly Thrives in Warming U.K.

Called a climate change "winner"

Megan Stroup

British scientists are attributing the spread of the rare brown argus butterfly in the U.K. to warmer summer temperatures, according to a new study published in the journal Science on Friday. The butterfly, once rare in Britain, was historically limited to sunny areas in the southeast areas of the country. As summer temperatures have risen steadily since the ’90s, the species has expanded more than 40 miles north in the U.K., about 2.3 times the average pace of other insects. The butterfly’s diet has also widened as a variety of plants have thrived in the warmer weather. “There will be winners and losers from climate change,” said Jane Hill, one of the study’s co-authors. She noted the significance of understanding the ability of different species to adapt to climate change in order to better focus conservation efforts.

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