In the Republic of Korea, most denuded forest lands have been restored since the 1960s. In addition, the annual mean temperature in the Republic of Korea has increased ≈1.0°C during the last century, which is higher than the global mean increase of 0.74°C. Such rapid environmental changes may have resulted in changes in the local butterfly fauna. For example, the number of butterflies inhabiting forests may have increased because of reforestation, whereas the number of butterflies inhabiting grasslands may have declined. Furthermore, the number of northern butterflies may have declined, whereas the number of southern butterflies may have increased in response to global warming. Therefore, we compared current data (2002≈2007) regarding the abundance of butterfly species at two sites in the central portion of the Korean Peninsula to data from the late 1950s and early 1970s for the same sites. Changes in the abundance rank of each species between the two periods were evaluated to determine whether any patterns corresponded to the predicted temporal changes. The predicted changes in butterfly abundance were confirmed in this study. In addition, the results showed a different response to habitat change between northern and southern species. In northern butterfly species, butterflies inhabiting forests increased, whereas those inhabiting grasslands declined. However, the opposite was true when southern butterfly species were evaluated. Changes in the abundance indicate that habitat change may be one of the key factors related to the survival of populations that remain around the southern boundary of butterfly species.