Today’s Solutions: January 21, 2022

A new study released by the Natural History Museum in London has just dubbed Colombia the world’s official butterfly paradise.

The country of Colombia is home to some of the richest biodiversity on the planet, including approximately 20 percent of the world’s butterfly species. An international group of scientists have identified 3,642 species and 2,085 subspecies in Colombia and have confirmed that it has the highest number of butterfly species in the world.

According to Blanca Huertas, butterfly specialist at the Museum of Natural history in London, there are “more than 200 species of butterflies [that] live only in Colombia and in no other country in the world.” This means that if these species are lost, “there is no rescue population, and it will be forever.” This intensifies the urgency of protecting butterfly habitats and the butterflies themselves.

Colombia, a country that is already known for having the highest variety of orchids and birds, can now add another category of animals to the list. According to the study, Peru and Ecuador are hot on Colombia’s heels as they approach a similar level of lepidopteran biodiversity.

While the researchers of this study have worked on this project “for the greater part of their careers,” and put in a lot of time analyzing more than 350,000 photographs and bibliographic compilations, some of which have been around since the 18th century, they also stress that the butterfly census in Colombia “still suffers from a lack of information” and they will continue to supplement it with new research.

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