Butterflywatch: May sun brings hope for a bumper summer

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As our seasons shift forward, the “June gap” now arrives towards the end of May. In June, people often wonder where the butterflies have gone. Don’t panic. They are mostly hiding in caterpillar or chrysalis form. By June (or these days, late May), spring butterflies fade into obscurity. But the new crop of midsummer butterflies,…

Large heath butterflies return to Manchester after 150 years

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Large heath butterflies are returning to peatlands in greater Manchester 150 years after they went locally extinct. The acidic peat bogs and mosslands around Manchester and Liverpool were home to the country’s biggest colonies of large heath butterflies – known as the “Manchester argus” – but numbers plummeted as land was drained for agricultural land…

Climate crisis is making world’s forests shorter and younger – study

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Climate breakdown and the mass felling of trees has made the world’s forests significantly shorter and younger overall, an analysis shows.  The trend is expected to continue, scientists say, with worrying consequences for the ability of forests to store carbon and mitigate the climate emergency and for the endangered wildlife that depends on rich, ancient…

World’s largest all-electric aircraft set for first flight

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The world’s largest all-electric aircraft is about to take to the skies for the first time. The Cessna Caravan, retrofitted with an electric engine, is expected to fly for 20-30 minutes over Washington state in the US on Thursday. The plane can carry nine passengers but a test pilot will undertake the inaugural flight alone,…