Staff at ERCCIS analysed thousands of species records to estimate the difference in the distribution of various species in Cornwall between 1980 and 2017. The results are bleak, particularly for insects like bees, wasps, ants, and butterflies. These declines will have further negative impacts on other animals higher up the food chain like amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Urgent action is required if we are to reverse species decline and avoid species extinctions in Cornwall.
The study looked at 23 species of bees and estimated that as a group their distribution across Cornwall has declined by 44% since 1980. The distribution of wasps, an under-loved but vital group of insects, declined by 71%. Butterfly distribution across 36 species has an estimated decline of 47%. If that wasn’t shocking enough, the distribution of butterflies that rely on specialist habitats declined by 81%.