Climatic Risk Atlas of European Butterflies
Climate change will cause Europe to lose much of its biodiversity as projected by a comprehensive study on future butterfly distribution. The recently published Climatic Risk Atlas of European Butterflies predicts northward shifts in potential distribution area of many European butterfly species. As early warning indicators of environmental change, butterflies are a valuable tool to assess overall climate change impact and to provide some indication on the chances to come nearer to the target of halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 set by the EU Heads of State in 2001.
Dr Martin Warren, Chairman of Butterfly Conservation Europe and one of the authors, said “Evidence points to an acceleration in climate change after 2050 unless there is a significant decrease in global CO2 emissions. This accelerated change would be the final nail in the coffin for many European species. We need to be ready for this worst-case scenario. We need place more emphasis on maintaining large, diverse populations on existing habitats while re-connecting habitats to allow species to move across the landscape. This means working closely with farmers and planners.”
The Climatic Risk Atlas of European Butterflies is published by Pensoft - a science publisher based in Sofia, Bulgaria - and can be viewed online at www.pensoftonline.net/biorisk. It was written by researchers from across Europe under the EU Sixth Framework programme projects: ALARM (Assessing Large-scale Environmental Risks for biodiversity with tested Methods) www.alarmproject.net and MACIS (Minimisation of and Adaptation to Climate change Impacts on biodiversity) www.macis-project.net
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