The authors mapped the entire global range of this butterfly and obtained data on the intensity of livestock grazing. The Sinai baton blue is one of only two endemic animals in St. Katherine's Protectorate, one of Egypt's most recently designated protected areas. Based on the authors' model, the effect of global warming on the chance of extinction does not depend on the future level of habitat destruction due to this grazing; the growing number of families that live on the protectorate keep a small herd of goats and sheep that graze on the plants the butterflies thrive on. Global warming is the deadly culprit. "If the areas of habitat patches individually fall below certain prescribed levels, the butterfly is likely to go extinct,"the authors conclude.
This study is published in the August issue of Conservation Biology. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article please contact email@example.com
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Martin Hoyle is at the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at the University of Exeter, Hatherly Laboratories. He has performed research on metapopulation dynamics and has been published in numerous journals. Dr. Hoyle is available for questions and interviews.