Arizona Public Media
Story by Tony Paniagua
Monarch butterflies are relatively small insects that participate in one of nature’s most impressive migrations, but many scientists and other professionals are concerned about their long-term survival.
The butterflies can travel from their wintering grounds in central Mexico to summer homes in the United States and Canada. However, their descendants eventually return to Mexico to begin the process again.
Supporters say the insects’ numbers have been dwindling significantly, and they worry about the butterflies’ long-term survival.
Because of this, many people are thankful and supportive of an agreement between Canada, U.S. and Mexico that is establishing a task force to try to help the insects.
One of the ideas is to plant more milkweed, a host plant that is vital to the insect’s life cycle, in toxin-free areas.
At the University of Arizona, several experts signed a letter urging the North American leaders to protect the butterfly.
The experts include Alison Deming, Laura López Hoffman, Ph. D. and Gary Paul Nabhan, Ph. D. and they are excited about the measures that are being taken on behalf of the butterflies.
They joined AZ Illustrated Nature to speak about their research and support for the butterfly and their environment.