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Butterflies Flutter North to Escape Global Warming

Global warming is driving Finland’s swallowtail butterflies northward. The colourful butterflies’ area of distribution has shifted on average 60 kilometres north in the past decade.

Haapaperhonen Image: Pentti Kallinen

In recent years, three species have been found up to 300 kilometres farther north than in the past.

During the 1990s the Silver-washed Fritillary Butterfly ( Argynnis paphia) was detected mainly in Southeast Finland. Over the past eight or nine years, the winged insect has been spotted in the Rovaniemi area in Lapland. The Holly Blue Butterfly ( Celastrina argiolus) has also made its way to Southern Lapland.

According to researcher Juha Pöyry from Finland's Environmental Administration, butterflies are migrating farther north in response to global warming. Species’ particular traits can also help explain changes in distribution patterns. Based on these findings, researchers can predict which species need the most protection from climate change.

Sources: YLE

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