Large Copper 2
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|The large copper is a characteristic butterfly of extensive carr peat bogs. In 1970 this butterfly species was still found in seven bogs, but by 2001 it was known from only three bogs in south Friesland and northwest Overijssel.|
The large copper breeds in sphagnum and reed vegetation in bogs. It prefers the young phase of this vegetation, which is rich in water dock, as it lays its eggs on this plant.
The sphagum-reed vegetation is a certain stage in the terrestrialisation of peat bog from which peat has been dug. It is a rare vegetation that survives only if it is intensively managed, because if natural succession is allowed to run its course, it changes into swamp woodland. Sphagum-reed vegetation is dwindling because of the acidification and eutrophication of the surface water. As there are hardly any new stands of sphagum-reed vegetation, the large copper is an endangered species.
In 2000 a species protection plan was launched for this butterfly. It comprises measures to create new habitats, such as excavating depressions in the peat so that pools will be created in which terrestrialisation can begin again.
The large copper is on the Red List of butterflies. The subspecies 'batava' is unique to the Netherlands, so if it disappears from the country it will have gone extinct.
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