Monday, August 22, 2011

Comma butterfly

ABC Science goes gaga over reports Britain's Comma Butterfly has migrated about 220km over the last 20 years; from central England to Edinburgh, Scotland. Pity they, and the researchers responsible for the study, didn't bother to look at past reports of the migratory habits of this remarkable insect. If they had, they would have discovered that current movements are in fact, not unprecedented in recent history and the Comma Butterfly has previously been abundant in Scotland. Still, when your mandate calls for doom and gloom, I guess ignoring history  becomes mandatory. 

Here's some interesting reading from the Glasgow and SW Scotland Branch of Butterfly Conservation:

The Comma is known to have a very dynamic range in the UK. It was known in eastern Scotland in the early-19th century being found as far north as Fife and Alloa, Clackmannanshire in the east but it was absent in western Scotland. After 1850, the Comma was in decline with the last 19th century record being for Denholm, the Borders in 1868.

By the 1920s, the Comma's distribution in England had retreated to the west Midlands and then exapnded again in the 1930s reaching Lancashire & South Yorkshire by 1950; Durham by 1976. By 1995-1999, the Comma had reached the Scottish borders with a few scattered records in Dumfries & Galloway. Since then, the Comma has spread north and west into Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and the Lothians. The above photos were taken in a Motherwell garden in 2008.

ABC source the photo from "Butterfly Conversation" but fail to mention the Comma's habitat has previously included Scotland. ABC Science pick and choose the facts to suit their alarmist agenda. Something Richard Feynman would have described as: cargo cult science!

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