Butterflies in November… beautiful but a ‘worrying’ sign of global warming

Gill Marchant, 73, was “amazed” when she saw four red admirals on her dahlias in Haddenham, Cambs, then another butterfly days later.

They should start hibernating from late summer when it cools down before emerging in March.

Gill said: “I was really surprised but I think it’s because of global warming.

“The problem is that there is very little food for the butterflies and that’s going to impact their survival. They won’t survive hibernation or flying to a warmer country.

“I’ve never seen them after the beginning of September. It’s been very windy here so it’s not butterfly flying weather at all.”

Paul Hetherington, director of fundraising at conservation specialists Buglife, said: “It’s all basically down to the fact it’s not got cold enough for them to start hibernating. It seems to be getting caused by climate change. We are getting warmer and wetter winters then what we used to have.

“That’s really worrying because the extra moisture we tend to get in the winter is really bad for things like mould growth. If you get mould growth on you when you’re a hibernating insect, then it’s likely to prove fatal.”

Paul, 58, said it would be normal to spy butterflies in sheds or garages, not outdoors.

He added there’s little you can do if you see one in the garden: “But if you find them hibernating, then don’t disturb them or put them back outside.”

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