Residents of Israel and Lebanon have been treated to the flutter of millions of butterflies that have appeared this spring in numbers not seen in more than 100 years.
The massive migration of Vanessa cardui butterflies from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait came after a winter that saw unusually heavy rainfall. Experts say this gave the species’ caterpillars a bumper crop of plants to thrive on.
The Israel Nature and Parks Authority says the butterflies have reached Cypress on their way to Spain and other parts of Europe for the summer.
Bleak Future for Corals
Unprecedented coral bleaching events at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef during 2016 and 2017 have left the World Heritage Site without enough juvenile coral to rebuild, scientists warn.
A report in the journal Nature says the number of “coral babies” trying to repopulate the reef has fallen by 89 percent.
While there are ongoing small-scale efforts to transplant juvenile coral to the reef, researchers say that the efforts are likely to be futile due to the high probability of more severe coral bleaching events brought on by a warming world.