THE North Brown Argus butterfly, which is mainly found in the Borders, has a new ‘species champion’ in the form of Roxburgh, Ettrick and Berwickshire MSP John Lamont.
John adopted the Northern Brown Argus after being contacted by local members of Butterfly Conservation who are concerned that it is under threat due to the loss of its main habitat of unimproved grasslands.
The adoption is part of an initiative being run by Scottish Environment LINK which encourages politicians to choose from a list of endangered species and then champion their survival.
Mr Lamont said: “I was delighted to be able to take part in this initiative and become a species champion for the Northern Brown Argus.
“With 2013 being the year of natural Scotland it is a unique opportunity to raise awareness for some of the rarer wildlife in Scotland, and take steps to ensure their survival.
“The Northern Brown Argus butterfly is one of just many endangered species across Scotland that is facing extinction through the destruction of its natural habitat. We are lucky to have so many of these butterflies native to our region, but there is overwhelming evidence that their numbers are declining.
“Every year locals and butterfly enthusiasts from around the country come to places such as Eyemouth and Abbey St. Bathans to see these creatures, and it’s important that we do what we can to ensure that they can continue to see them for many years to come.
“That’s why I will be doing everything that I can to raise awareness of the situation of the Northern Brown Argus, and to try and see more of its habitat protected.”