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Number of Monarch butterflies overwintering in California holds steady, but still well below the 1990s

February 8, 2014By
Number of Monarch butterflies overwintering in California holds steady, but still well below the 1990s

Data released today show that more monarch butterflies were counted at overwintering sites in California this year compared to last year. While this is welcome news, the number of butterflies is still well below peak numbers from the 1990s. Volunteers with the Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count visited 162 sites in coastal California and tallied a […]

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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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Monarch Migration Plunges to Lowest Level in Decades

February 2, 2014By
Monarch Migration Plunges to Lowest Level in Decades

The number of monarch butterflies that completed an annual migration to their winter home in a Mexican forest sank this year to its lowest level in at least two decades, due mostly to extreme weather and changed farming practices in North America, the Mexican government and a conservation alliance reported on Wednesday. The area of […]

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