UK Moth Numbers Suffer Crash, 40-year Study Shows

UK Moth Numbers Suffer Crash, 40-year Study Shows image #1

02 Feb 2013

Two-thirds of Britain's 337 species of common larger moths have experienced a substantial decline over the past four decades, a survey has shown.

The V-moth (Marcaria wauaria), once a common sight in gardens, recorded a 99% fall in numbers from 1968-2007.

Habitat loss and deteriorating land are thought to be behind the decline.

The findings appear in the State of Britain's Larger Moths 2013 report, produced by Butterfly Conservation and Rothamsted Research.

"Larger moth in Britain are showing substantial and significant decreases in their populations over this 40-year period," observed lead author Richard Fox.

"This not only includes a big decrease in the total abundance of moths, but also a large decline in a large number of individual species."

"Generally speaking, these are common and widespread moths that live in our gardens and farmed countryside, so we are not talking about rare, special species."

Overall, the four decades of data showed that the total abundance of larger moths declined by 28%.

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