29 Mar '13, 3pm

Enjoy seeing monarch #butterflies? New survey indicates the lowest numbers of these insects in 20 yrs

The percentage of forest occupied by monarch butterflies in Mexico, used as an indicator of the number of butterflies that arrive to that country each winter, reached its lowest level in two decades. According to a survey carried out during the 2012-2013 winter season by the WWF-Telcel Alliance, and Mexico’s National Commission of Protected Areas (CONAP), the nine hibernating colonies occupy a total area of 2.94 acres of forest—representing a 59% decrease from the 2011-2012 survey of 7.14 acres The latest decrease in monarch butterflies is likely due to a decrease in the milkweed plant (Asclepias)—a primary food for monarchs—from herbicide use in the butterfly’s reproductive and feeding grounds in the US, as well as extreme climate variations during the fall and summer affecting butterfly reproduction. “Extreme climate fluctuations in the U.S. and Canada affect the surviva...

Full article: http://worldwildlife.org/stories/monarch-butterfly-survey...

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