That is a lot of butterfly species across the UK, as their are only 59 species of UK butterflies in total. The decline has happened over the last 40 years. The study, and findings come right off the bat of yesterdays findings that British biodiversity is in serious decline. Which was written about, here, yesterday: http://actionforearth.weebly.com/blog/british-biodiversity-in-trouble
The study is suprising, for two reasons. One, there is a decline of butterfly species in rural, and farmland areas. And two, the decline is not soley about endangered butterfly species, the most affected butterfly species are those who are common butterfly species.
This shows how unhealthy our countryside and habitats are. As we destroy habitats, farmlands, meadows, and so on, due to 'development', what is happening is that we are destroying wildlife, and making sure that wild animals are being driven to extinction.
What this also shows, is that farming today is causing the destruction of wildlife. Poor farming methods and management is having a detremental effect on wild animals, and wild plant species. And, this is most likely down to; pesticides being used, a lack of hedges that are habitats for wildlife such as butterflies, and hedgehogs, and poor hedgerow management.
The entire decline of butterfly species is unclear to scientists, but, it is most thought to be down to human activity, in one way or another. Essentially the use of fatal, and posinous pesticides, and the destructions of wild places.
For many species, including butterfly species, they will only have a certain, and unique habitat. For example, the decline in rare, habitat specialit butterflies, is down to the destruction of chalk grassland, which is their habitats.
A solution to this problem, in decline of British species as a whole, including butterfly species, is to protect and preserve remaining wild spaces of Britain.
It is much easier, and cheaper for developers to build on land which is green (i.e. meadows, forests, moors, farmland etc), than it is to develop on brown field sites, which are often left derelict for decades. Instead, we should be using land that is derelict, brown field sites, which are laying bare, because the buildings have been abandoned.
The key is for governements to do more to protect green spaces, including farm land, from development. If we do not, then we are going to see more species in decline, and inevitably, species becoming extinct, if we do not.