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Wet weather in 2012 'catastrophic' for butterflies

Last year was "catastrophic" for butterflies, with most species declining in the face of one of the wettest years on record, a study has shown.

Orange-Tip butterfly Credit: Julian Dowding/Butterfly Conservation/PA Wire

Fifty two of the 56 species of butterfly monitored saw a decline from the previous year.

White-Letter Hairstreak butterfly Credit: Tim Melling/Butterfly Conservation/PA Wire

Thirteen species of butterfly experienced their worst year in records dating back to 1976, because the insects struggled to find food and shelter, and mate in the washout summer.

Brown Angus butterfly Credit: Nick Edge/Butterfly Conservation/PA Wire

Experts are now warning that struggling butterflies could become extinct in some areas of the UK as a result of the wet weather.