Large Blue on the up

From Habitat Volume 34, No 10, November 1998.

A population of rare butterflies, almost wiped out last year, has made a remarkable recovery. Only ten Large blue (Maculinea arion) butterflies were recorded at the end of the summer last year, but this year fifty separate sightings have been made. Hopes are now high that the endangered butterfly, which became extinct in Britain in 1979, could return to National Trust land in Cornwall. Volunteers are working hard clearing scrubland near Tintagel and Bude on the north Cornwall coast in a bid to foster the right habitats for this species. The Large blue, which has been re-introduced to secret sites in Somerset and the Cotswolds, could be back in Cornwall in 1999 if the re-introduction programme goes to plan. Further details can be obtained from Jacqui Cooper of the National Trust.

Habitat is published by the Environment Council and is available on subscription of £20 per year (£25 overseas).

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