By: Meteorologist Megan Mulford
Updated: Feb 6th 2019

Wildlife Wednesdays: Sierra Nevada Blue

The Sierra Nevada Blue are beautiful little butterflies that currently reside in Spain, found in the peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The male species are a bright blue hue with the female being dark black/brown. Their habitat has been decreasing over time due to overgrazing animals, ski resorts, and trampling of vegetation by people on roads and footpaths. They are now on the endangered species list and the biggest threat for these butterflies is climate change. 

According to Miguel Munguira, a researcher for Butterfly Conservation Europe, says that a combination of long droughts, increased temperatures over time, and reduced snow coverage will cause these butterflies to move into higher areas where a habitat may not be suitable, therefore causing extinction. In Europe, there are about 482 butterfly species and 149 of those are restricted to a very small area, which make them even more vulnerable to a changing climate. Having to move "into the wild" is too harsh for these little creatures and increasing too high in elevation is not an option. 

The disappearance of butterflies seems harmless to humans, but if butterflies start to disappear due to climate change, this can cause quite an impact from pollination disruptions to an increase in insect populations. 




https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/19/critical-10-species-at-risk-climate-change-endangered-world


butterfly
Sierra Nevada Blue (female species)
mountains
Sierra Nevada Mountain Range
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