Recent Articles

Monarchs and Milkweeds in Farmscapes: Making Safe Havens through Planting Conservation Strips in Highly Diverse, Low Input Fields, Orchards and Pastures

February 5, 2014By
Monarchs and Milkweeds in Farmscapes: Making Safe Havens through Planting Conservation Strips in Highly Diverse, Low Input Fields, Orchards and Pastures

It is likely that at least 170,000,000 acres of actively-sown annual field crops in American farmscapes are now depleted of their formerly-abundant milkweeds and monarch butterflies.

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Butterfly Immigration Reform? Make Way for Migrating Monarchs Between the U.S. and Mexico

February 4, 2014By
Butterfly Immigration Reform? Make Way for Migrating Monarchs Between the U.S. and Mexico

This last year, tens of thousands of children across the Midwest watched IMAX film Flight of the Butterflies on the  miraculous migration of monarch butterflies from Canada and the U.S. to their winter habitat in the mountains of central Mexico. This migration typically gives cause for celebration among millions of schoolchildren and citizen scientists alike. […]

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Insect Conservation and Diversity –

February 4, 2014By
Insect Conservation and Diversity –

Milkweed loss in agricultural fields because of herbicide use: effect on the monarch butterfly population Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus L. Lepidoptera: Danainae) in the Eastern North American migratory population undergo a multi-generation annual cycle that includes wintering in central Mexico. In the spring, adults that have overwintered migrate north and reproduce in Texas and states […]

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Monarch Butterfly Conservation Talking Points

February 4, 2014By
Monarch Butterfly Conservation Talking Points

Monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico each fall from Canada and the United States to overwinter in forested areas in mountains west of Mexico City. This migration is truly spectacular and is one of the most magnificent and intriguing of all natural phenomena. The very existence of this migration is under threat due to illegal logging […]

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National valuation of monarch butterflies

February 4, 2014By
National valuation of monarch butterflies

The annual migration of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) has high cultural value and recent surveys indicate monarch populations are declining. Protecting migratory species is complex because they cross international borders and depend on multiple regions. Understanding how much, and where, humans place value on migratory species can facilitate market-based conservation approaches. We performed a contingent […]

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Tracking the Causes of Sharp Decline of the Monarch Butterfly

February 4, 2014By
Tracking the Causes of Sharp Decline of the Monarch Butterfly

A new census found this winter’s population of North American monarch butterflies in Mexico was at the lowest level ever measured. Insect ecologist Orley Taylor talks to Yale Environment 360 about how the planting of genetically modified crops and the resulting use of herbicides has contributed to the monarchs’ decline. University of Kansas insect ecologist […]

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The Year the Monarch Didn’t Appear

February 4, 2014By
The Year the Monarch Didn’t Appear

On the first of November, when Mexicans celebrate a holiday called the Day of the Dead, some also celebrate the millions of monarch butterflies that, without fail, fly to the mountainous fir forests of central Mexico on that day. They are believed to be souls of the dead, returned. This year, for or the first […]

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Setting the Table for a Regal Butterfly Comeback, With Milkweed

February 4, 2014By 0 Comments
Setting the Table for a Regal Butterfly Comeback, With Milkweed

Bounding out of a silver Ford pickup into the single-digit wind-flogged flatness that is Iowa in December, Laura Jackson strode to a thicket of desiccated sticks and plucked a paisley-shaped prize. It was a pod that, after a gentle squeeze, burst with chocolate brown buttons: seeds of milkweed, the favored — indeed, the only — […]

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