New environmental monitoring system: butterflies as an indicator for an intact Ecosystem

The butterfly as a Marker for Umwelschäden

A European research group recently developed a new System for the state of health of Ecosystems, to measure. While butterflies play a special role, as the Moths are very sensitive to condition changes in our Ecosystems. The new insect-monitoring System aims to capture the development of inventories of butterflies in the whole of Europe and scientifically evaluate.

Researchers from the Helmholtz-centre for environmental research (UFZ) presented recently a new network, with the stocks of insects. With this method, it is possible to make solid statements about the insects, shrinkage, and the state of European Ecosystems. The project is rated as a first the state of the butterfly Population that will be awarded on the basis of the sensitivity a key role. Basically, the process but on all the species of insects applicable.

Steady decline in the butterfly Population

To be launched early in the year 2019, the EU-project ABLE (Assessing ButterfLies in Europe), with the aim of Europe to capture wide Trends in the development of inventories of butterflies, and to evaluate scientifically. This should provide solid evidence to support environmental decisions at the political level. Because since the year 2005, the UFZ notes in a massive decline in butterflies. In other insects, an extensive insect does die wide.

The key role of the butterflies

According to information provided by the UFZ-team, the Butterflies are particularly well-suited to assess the state of Ecosystems, since they are important pollinators and an important part of the food chain, and on the other, is particularly sensitive to changes in the Ecosystem respond. Of Ecologists, they are used already for a long time as model organisms to investigate the effects of habitat loss, fragmentation, land-use change and climate change. Because in butterfly-rich areas there is also always a variety of other invertebrates, the UFZ researchers.

Reliable data for the insects loss

“This project, with its Europe-wide standardised approach to the Monitoring of Butterflies is a parade example of how in times of insects, coupled with robust data for science, policy, and society would have to be collected”, explains Professor Dr. Josef Settele from the ABLE Team, in a press release at the Start of the project.

A network against the insects die

Already the Butterfly Population is recorded in eleven EU-countries, eight EU-countries in southern and Eastern Europe are expected to follow. The data will be collected with the help of thousands of volunteers and employees. All the information comes together in the ABLE network and be evaluated there.

Can affect the butterfly, the environmental policy?

“Butterflies are important indicators for the assessment of policies at the level of the EU,” reported Anne Teller of the EU Directorate-General for environment of the European Commission. They welcomed the Pilot project and hopes on increased involvement of volunteers, Supporters and supporters. (vb)

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