Climate Drives Butterfly Abundance and 15% SNAP Boost
**Climate is likely the biggest driver of changes in butterfly abundance, according to results from a 25-year study by University of Georgia entomologists.
Researchers in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences found notable increases in butterfly populations in the Southeast and Pacific Northwest parts of the country, while the Southwestern and Mountain States show a decline, findings consistent with another recent study.
Butterflies are ecologically important because they’re pollinators, herbivores and prey, making them useful indicators of environmental changes.
**The USDA announced a 15% increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits through September, providing an estimated $3.5 billion to households experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic.
The funding is made possible by the President’s American Rescue Plan.
The 15% increase in SNAP benefits will provide about $28 more per person, per month, more than $100 more per month for a family of four.
**Animal protein has traditionally been viewed as the “star” of the plate but as conversations around environmental sustainability, animal welfare and nutritional concerns heat up, some suggest taking it off our plates altogether.
Experts at the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2021 Virtual Stakeholders Summit will discuss the realities of these issues and identify ways to reposition animal protein.
The event, themed “Obstacles to Opportunities,” is May 5-6 with preconference webinars planned for the five business days prior, beginning April 28.