Recent Articles

Dwindling Numbers for an Iconic Insect: What can we do?

September 19, 2014By
Dwindling Numbers for an Iconic Insect: What can we do?

Monarch numbers are declining; this decline is statistically significant (Brower et al. 2012) and readily apparent from data on the area occupied by monarchs on the overwintering roost in Mexico.

While we saw more monarchs during the summer of 2014 than we did last year or the year before, and will thus hopefully see more in Mexico this winter, it’s unlikely that the population will be anywhere near as large as it was a decade ago.

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Monarch butterflies and farmers

September 15, 2014By
Monarch butterflies and farmers

Many Americans were startled to learn recently that a butterfly once found in so many people’s backyards and fields is now being petitioned for federal listing as a threatened species. It will take months if not years for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to decide whether the monarchs require this form of protection.

Rather than advocating for a particular outcome, I wish to focus on how any effective protection will need to positively engage both farmers and the rest of the food supply chain.

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Honey, Don’t Forget the Pollinators

September 11, 2014By
Honey, Don’t Forget the Pollinators

Go to the produce section in any Whole Foods, AJ’s, or Sprouts in the Tucson area, and at least 237 of the 453 fruits and vegetables found there were brought to you by a now-imperiled fleet of flying pollinators.

While scientists and farmers in Baja Arizona were among the first in the country to sound the alarm about pollinator declines…

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Monarch butterfly West Coast migration in jeopardy, scientists say

September 2, 2014By
Monarch butterfly West Coast migration in jeopardy, scientists say

In October, millions of monarch butterflies will make a long migration from Canada to Mexico, many stopping in Santa Cruz, Pacific Grove, and Big Sur along the way.

Millions of Monarch butterflies make the long journey from Canada to Mexico — many stopping in Pacific Grove ….

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A Question of Monarchs

August 26, 2014By
A Question of Monarchs

A line of people curves like the body of a giant caterpillar, twisting up the mountain into the endangered oyamel fir forest. Michoacán, Mexico—the cloud-misted overwintering site of the monarch butterfly.

Near the middle of the caterpillar of people, I kept pace, thinking about Catholic peregrinos who journey on well-worn footpaths and roads, sometimes hundreds of miles, to reach a precious relic…

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Monarch butterfly population set to rise this year

August 26, 2014By
Monarch butterfly population set to rise this year

Population numbers are up from the lowest ever recorded in 2013 After a devastating drop in population numbers over the past two years, the monarch butterfly is poised to make a comeback this summer. The increase is being noticed at Point Pelee National Park in Leamington, Ont., the final Canadian stop of the monarchs’ annual […]

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How Do We Save the Iconic Monarch Butterfly?

August 26, 2014By
How Do We Save the Iconic Monarch Butterfly?

Chip Taylor is the founder and director of Monarch Watch.

He talks about the recent decline of the monarch butterfly due mainly to habitat loss, pesticide use and government policies that encourage ethanol production, and how there will need to be a massive effort to plant milkweed if we hope to save this iconic species.

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Nina Veteto, Divide and Multiply

August 26, 2014By
Nina Veteto, Divide and Multiply

For longtime butterfly lover Nina Veteto, a plant called Milkweed is the answer to the disappearing Monarch butterfly and their declining 2,000-mile annual migration.

Based in North Carolina, Nina’s project Divide and Multiply aims to propagate Milkweed, which is essential for healthy Monarch habitat. They will then distribute the plants to 15 non-profit organizations and schools that have signed on to maintain butterfly habitat this year.

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