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.
The house, on an island in Maine, perches on a rock at the edge of the sea like the aerie of an eagle. Below the white-railed back porch, the sea-slick rock slopes down to a lumpy low tideland of eelgrass and bladder wrack, as slippery as a knot of snakes.
Periwinkles cling to rocks; mussels pinch themselves together like purses. A gull lands on a shaggy-weeded rock, fluffs itself, and settles into a crouch, bracing against a fierce wind rushing across the water, while, up on the cliff, lichen-covered trees—spruce and fir and birch—sigh and creak like old men on a damp morning.
The sixth edition of Michelle Obama’s White House Kitchen Garden, planted on the South Lawn earlier this month, is now a bit more friendly to the insects we rely upon to pollinate our crops.
The First Lady announced the addition of the first-ever “White House Pollinator Garden,” a plot designed to not only assist the more than 70,000 bees that make up the White House…
North America forms the core of the monarch’s distribution but the overall range extends through Central America and the Caribbean to South America. Monarchs also occur in Hawaii, Australia, and several Pacific islands, as well as parts of Asia, Africa, and southern Europe (Zhan et al. 2014).
Several populations outside of the Americas appear to be nonnative, originating from introductions that are thought to have occurred in the 1800s (Vane-Wright 1993), but Zhan et al. (2014) suggests that introductions may have occurred much earlier.
In an agreement approved today, the Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety accepted an extended deadline for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to decide on protection for monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act.
In light of the extreme effects climate had on the butterfly’s population last year, two more overwintering counts will be available before a listing decision is issued in December 2020.
All over Minnesota and beyond, citizens and clubs and the occasional municipality are planting milkweed in hopes of helping the monarch butterfly reverse its ongoing population crash.
Still, the losses continue. This gorgeous, iconic creature’s numbers have declined by probably 80 percent in the last decade, and it may face 50-50 odds of disappearing from the Midwestern landscape in the next two.
The Sweet Briar community was saddened to learn of the death of Lincoln Brower, a world-renowned entomologist and research professor at the College. Brower died peacefully at his home in Nelson County on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, after an extended illness.
Brower came to Sweet Briar in 1997 after retiring from the University of Florida as Distinguished Service Professor of Zoology, Emeritus, joining his wife and research collaborator,
The migration of monarch butterflies is one of the natural world’s most epic journeys. Weighing only about as much as a paper clip, they fly up to 3,000 miles from their summer homes in America’s backyards and grasslands to wintering grounds in Mexico’s mountain forests.
But in recent years, the monarch butterfly populations have dwindled alarmingly.
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer.
His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd…
Monarch butterflies have made a big comeback in their wintering grounds in Mexico, after suffering serious declines, experts said Friday.
The area covered by the orange-and-black insects in the mountains west of Mexico City this season was more than three and a half times greater than last winter. The butterflies clump so densely in the pine and fir forests they are counted by the area they cover rather than by individual insects.
Monarch butterflies, which pollinate many different kinds of wildflowers, are among nature’s great wonders. Their annual migration is one of the most awe-inspiring on Earth: Each fall, millions of these striking black-and-orange butterflies take flight on a 3,000-mile journey across the U.S. and Canada to wintering grounds in Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountains.
The monarch population, which is determined by measuring the number of hectares the butterflies occupy in their Mexico habitat, has declined to 2.48 hectares—almost 30 percent less than last year’s population.
Renowned NASA climate scientist Dr. Jim Hansen often opens his public lectures with a discussion of the monarch butterfly migration. He has helped his grandchildren raise milkweed on their farm and for years they have followed the life cycle of monarchs through to fall migration.
The Hansen youth have also been involved as “citizen scientists” participating in tagging the migrating monarchs.
The news was already bad. Really, really bad.
Monarch butterflies that alight from Mexico and fly across the United States to Canada are being massacred. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service laid out a grim statistic in February: Nearly a billion have vanished since 1990…
What has makewayformonarchs.org accomplished in its first year as a grassroots trinational alliance of conservation biologists, environmental educators, farmers, gardeners, graphic artists and writers?
As a group of individuals who share deep concerns about the recent declines in milkweeds, monarchs and other pollinators, the answer to this question can be summarized as follows…
A simple but easily-forgotten fact about American farmers was recently revealed in what may be the most innovative social history of our continent since Howard Zinn wrote A People’s History of the United States thirty-five years ago.
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.