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Here's why you no longer see butterflies in your backyard

Have you ever wondered why we no longer see butterflies around?

Butterflies are becoming scarce in our backyard [National Geographic]

Growing up, it was quite common to see butterflies in your backyard, as you walk down the street or even looking out your window.

We could see butterflies of different colours in the gardens and on the streets and then suddenly, they all disappeared.

Today, you can barely see any butterflies around and if you have ever wondered why this is so, here are some possible reasons:

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The first reason we no longer see butterflies around is loss of habitat. Human activities such as urbanisation, deforestation, and agricultural expansion have significantly reduced the natural habitats where butterflies thrive.

Wildflower meadows, forests, and wetlands are being replaced by concrete structures and monoculture crops, leaving butterflies with fewer places to live, feed, and breed.

The destruction of these habitats disrupts the delicate balance of ecosystems, leading to a decrease in butterfly numbers.

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Climate change is another major factor contributing to the scarcity of butterflies. With climate change comes rising temperatures and changing weather patterns which affect the life cycles of butterflies. It also affects the availability of the plants they rely on for nectar and as host plants for their larvae.

Extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, heavy rains, and droughts, can devastate butterfly populations by destroying their habitats and food sources.

Also, climate change has led to shifts in the timing of seasonal events that can lead to mismatches between butterflies and the plants they depend on, further threatening their survival.

Human activities over the years have also led to the scarcity of butterflies. Activities such as the use of pesticides pollute the environment and are toxic to butterflies.

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These chemicals not only kill adult butterflies but also their larvae and eggs. Pesticides reduce the availability of nectar and host plants, as they often target the very plants that butterflies need to survive.

Also, industrial emissions, vehicle exhaust, and agricultural runoff introduce harmful chemicals into the environment. These pollutants can contaminate the plants that butterflies feed on, impacting their health and longevity.

Air pollution, in particular, affects the delicate balance of ecosystems, altering the composition of plant communities and the availability of food for butterflies.

Despite the alarming decline in butterfly populations, there is hope. Conservation efforts are being implemented worldwide to protect and restore butterfly habitats.

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Creating butterfly-friendly gardens with native plants, reducing pesticide use, and preserving natural habitats are some of the steps individuals and communities can take to support butterfly populations.

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