08 Jan

Disappearing Butterflies: a great environmental catastrophe of our time

Posted By polity_admin_user

Photo by Emily Cao on Unsplash

Over the past 50 years, butterfly and moth populations have declined by more than 80 per cent. The population of the majestic Western monarch butterfly, with its beautiful black and orange wings, plummeted by 86% between late 2017 and late 2018 in coastal areas of California. Many butterfly and moth species now face the very real prospect of extinction.

The disappearance of butterflies is not only a tragic loss of a beautiful life-form and an alarming decline in biodiversity: it is also an indictment of our poor husbandry of a planet we share with other species. The award-winning scientist Joseph Reichholf explains the science behind this impending ecological catastophe, shows how it is linked to the use of pesticides and intensive farming practices, and provides us with a roadmap of what we need to do – urgently – to avert an environmental disaster.

‘This is a brilliant, authoritative and iconoclastic challenge to the industrial farming that is destroying insect life. But Josef Reichholf’s lifetime of scrupulous scientific observation of butterflies and moths does not lead to despondency. He identifies overlooked solutions, from discarding fertilizer to embracing disorder and greening cities. And he reveals more of the miraculous biology of butterflies and moths and their marvellous relationships with a whole web of life – including us.’

PATRICK BARKHAM, AUTHOR OF THE BUTTERFLY ISLES

The Disappearance of Butterflies by Josef H. Reichholf is out now! Buy through us or check with your favourite bookseller!

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