HIGHWAY SHUT FOR BUTTERFLY CROSSING

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HIGHWAY SHUT FOR BUTTERFLY CROSSING

 user 2007-03-26 at 9:59:00 am Views: 59
  • #17632

    Highway shut for butterfly travel
    Taiwan
    is to close one lane of a major highway to protect more than a million
    butterflies, which cross the road on their seasonal migration.The
    purple milkweed butterfly, which winters in the south of the island,
    passes over some 600m of motorway to reach its breeding ground in the
    northMany of the 11,500 butterflies that attempt the journey each hour
    do not reach safety, experts say.

    Protective nets and ultra-violet lights will also be used to aid the insects.
    Taiwanese
    officials conceded that the decision to close one lane of the road
    would cause some traffic congestion, but said it was a price worth
    paying.”Human beings need to coexist with the other species, even if
    they are tiny butterflies,” Lee Thay-ming, of the National Freeway
    Bureau, told the AFP news agency.

    Under the bridge
    Each
    year thousands of butterflies die when turbulence generated by
    fast-moving cars drags them into the traffic or under the wheels of
    oncoming vehicles.Ecologists hope the triple-action effort of lane
    closure, protective nets and ultra-violet lighting will dramatically
    increase the milkweed’s chances of reaching the breeding ground.The
    protective nets are designed to force the butterflies to fly higher,
    reducing the chances of them getting caught in the traffic.Ultra-violet
    lighting will be used below an elevated section of road to encourage
    the butterflies to head beneath.The measures are estimated to have cost
    $30,000 (£15,200).