It is not just good news for the Britons but for the entire world who love butterflies. An extinct butterfly, the large blue butterflies that were reintroduced into the UK had bred in the first year itself; this is what makes everyone happy.
This was considered to be the largest reintroduction of a butterfly species, which was once extinct in Britain. They have now bred in the first year after reintroduction, which is seen as a good sign. The blue butterfly was introduced to Rodborough Common in Gloucestershire in 2019. It took five years to prepare the landscape for the butterfly before it was introduced here.
The large blue butterfly was declared extinct in Britain in 1979. This is the largest and the rarest of all nine British blue butterflies.
Apart from Rodborough Common, the butterfly was introduced also in Southern England. The authorities had to create the right conditions for the Myrmica sabuleti ant species and encourage the growth of wild thyme and marjoram, which the butterfly feeds and lays its eggs on
They then released the 1,100 larvae taken from other West Country locations on the 867 acre National Trust common, near Stroud. The authorities claimed that about 750 butterflies have successfully emerged at the site over the summer. They also came across large blues mating and eggs laid on thyme and marjoram.
In a gap of 150 years, it is the first time that large blue butterfly were recorded at Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons.
David Simcox, ecologist and co-author of the commons management plan, said that the large blue butterfly needed high densities of the heat-loving red ant Myrmica sabuleti that was crucial in the life-cycle of the butterfly.
Simcox also said that the area was prepared by creating small temporary grazing areas with electric fences to allow cows, including Hereford, long-horn cattle and Luing to graze to provide the right conditions for the ants, while scrub control was also carried out. The grazing cows created an ideal condition by keeping the grass down so sunlight can reach the soil which gently warms it, creating perfect conditions for the ants.