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Posted Tue Jan 12 2010: from UC Davis, via EurekAlert:
Butterflies reeling from impacts of climate and development
"Butterflies are not only charismatic to the public, but also widely used as indicators of the health of the environment worldwide," said Shapiro, a professor of evolution and ecology. "We found many lowland species are being hit hard by the combination of warmer temperatures and habitat loss." The results are drawn from Shapiro's 35-year database of butterfly observations made twice monthly at 10 sites in north-central California from sea level to tree line.... "... it came as a shock to discover that they were being hit even harder than the species that conservationists are used to thinking about. ... Some of the 'weedy' species have been touted as great success stories, in which native butterflies had successfully adapted to the changed conditions created by European colonization of California. That was the case for many decades, but habitat loss has apparently caught up with them now."
[Read more stories about: canary in coal mine, ecosystem interrelationships]

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'Doc Jim says:
What's that line? "When a butterfly doesn't flap its wings in California, a small rain doesn't fall in Kenya"...? Something like that.

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