29 Jan '14, 5pm

Monarch butterfly population hits a new low

The number of monarch butterflies that migrates across the United States each year and overwinters in the forests of Mexico has dropped to an all-time low. News out of Mexico this morning puts the population at 33.5 million individuals. Although the number of butterflies varies from year to year, this estimate is a precipitous drop from a high of 1 billion in 1997 and down from a long term average of 350 million over the last 15 years. Furthermore, it represents the 9th consecutive yearly measurement below the long term average. In other words, this year’s news follows a continuing downward trend. It signals a species in crisis. The decline of monarch butterflies over the last decade or more has coincided with the wide-scale adoption of genetically modified crops that are resistant to the weed-killer glyphosate, also known as Round Up. This change in our agricultural syste...

Full article: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/sfallon/monarch_butterf...

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