Butterflies, an important species for the conservation of the environment
By Mercy Ramos
Butterflies are the most beautiful and colorful insects that inhabit the planet and are of vital importance for maintaining the balance of natural ecosystems, hence the need to preserve them from the dangers that threaten them.
Among the factors harming these species, of which more than 100,000 varieties are estimated to live in the world, in the first place are the degradation and elimination of their habitats, in addition to the use of pesticides and climate change, all which, according to recent studies, has caused a 50 percent reduction in butterfly populations over the last 10 years, while in the case of the Monarch, in western United States, the slump reaches around 99, 4 percent.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) mentions Italy as the European country with the greatest variety of butterflies, with about 60% of the total species on the continent. Some of them, as in Sardinia and the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, are endemic.
Indeed, the international organization for the certification of sustainable agriculture and livestock, Friend of the Earth, has launched a great campaign called "Save the butterflies" with the aim of promoting their conservation with the contribution of all. This project calls on people from all over the world to take photos of the lepidoptera in the foreground without disturbing them and send them by WhatsApp (+39 3512522520) together with the coordinates of the location.
With this, the name of the species will be known and it will be stored on an interactive map, which will help compile statistics and apply the best conservation measures. On the other hand, with the collaboration of the Polyxena Association, Friend of the Earth has launched the project "Save the butterflies of Italy" to repopulate endangered species, especially the most vulnerable in that country.
Cuba, a small island in the Caribbean, has around 200 species, of which 18 are endemic, according to the Environment Agency, and of that total, just over 30 varieties are endangered due to fumigation campaigns to combat the Aedes aegypty mosquito, which causes dengue. In order to study and preserve Cuban butterflies, especially indigenous ones, a sanctuary for these insects was inaugurated in 2005 in the Cuban capital, the only one in the country.
There are some of the species that inhabit the island, among them the Zebra, the Asia Moluste and the Danaus (Monarch). Butterflies, like any living being, play an important role in nature as they transport pollen from flowers to various plants, thereby helping pollination, being part of the trophic chain of living beings and are ecological indicators of the diversity and health of the ecosystems in which they inhabit, hence the need to preserve them.
If you want more information on the subject, I invite you to visit the website: https://friendoftheearth.org/es/conservation-project/mariposas/