December 27, 2008

Erratic weather hurts Britain’s wildlife

Britain's puffins are among the wildlife suffering from a second year of erratic weather, the National Trust said Saturday.

This year's cold spring, wet summer and dry autumn have made tough going for puffins, the marsh fritillary butterfly and lesser horseshoe bats, the BBC reported.

A wet summer in 2009 could be disastrous for insects -- an integral part of the wildlife food chain, the National Trust said.

Bees struggled though frost and snow in April, while birds, including blue and great tits, failed to nest because of heavy rain in late May and a lack of insects for food.

The puffin population of the Farne Islands was reported down by 35 percent while the common autumn cranefly was nearly non-existent, the organization said.

Climate change is not some future prediction of what might happen, it's happening now and having a serious impact on our countryside every year, said Matthew Oates, a spokesman for the National Trust.