Audio

Farmer involvement critical to preserving Monarch butterflies

August 31, 2015By
Farmer involvement critical to preserving Monarch butterflies

Monarch butterflies are known for their beauty and considered a national treasure. Although Monarch populations have been declining, farmers can help to play an important role in writing the plan not only to preserve them, but to increase their population.

The Monarch butterfly is the only known butterfly species to make a two-way migration, much as birds do. Each spring, they journey from wintering grounds in Mexico to the northern U.S. and Canada.

Read More

Filed in: AudioBlogFeature

GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health

August 31, 2015By
GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not high on most physicians’ worry lists. If we think at all about biotechnology, most of us probably focus on direct threats to human health, such as prospects for converting pathogens to biologic weapons or the implications of new technologies for editing the human germline.

But while those debates simmer, the application of biotechnology to agriculture has been rapid and aggressive.

Read More

Filed in: AudioBlogFeature

Birds, Bees And The Power Of Sex Appeal: The Ribald Lives Of Flowers

July 20, 2015By
Birds, Bees And The Power Of Sex Appeal: The Ribald Lives Of Flowers

Flowers, bugs and bees: Stephen Buchmann wanted to study them all when he was a kid. “I never grew out of my bug-and-dinosaur phase,” he tells NPR’s Arun Rath. “You know, since about the third grade, I decided I wanted to chase insects, especially bees.”

These days, he’s living that dream. As a pollination ecologist, he’s now taking a particular interest in how flowers attract insects. In his new book, The Reason for Flowers, he looks at more than just the biology of flowers — he dives into the ways they’ve laid down roots in human history and culture, too.

Read More

Filed in: AudioBlog

Monarch Butterfly Population Rejuvenated After Last Year’s Record Low

March 4, 2015By
Monarch Butterfly Population Rejuvenated After Last Year’s Record Low

Monarch butterflies have arrived in Mexico, and conservationists are applauding the country’s crack down on illegal loggers who contributed to habitat loss and decline of the species.

Now they are turning their attention to the U.S. to help save the migratory insect.

Read More

Filed in: AudioBlog

Q Essay: The butterfly effect on climate change activism

September 29, 2014By
Q Essay: The butterfly effect on climate change activism

In today’s opening essay, Jian reflects on the diminished numbers of Monarch Butterflies in North America. As of last year, their numbers had reached an all time low, but this year — due in part to efforts by butterfly advocates in Canada, the United States and Mexico — the winged wonders may be on the rebound.

Jian finds parallels between the movement of the monarchs and that of the environmentalists who seek to protect them — not to mention the planet we share.

Read More

Filed in: AudioBlog

Why You Should Worry About The Butterflies

August 21, 2014By
Why You Should Worry About The Butterflies

We love butterflies, and monarch butterflies are called “monarch” for a reason. They are grand. All that fluttering orange and black display on a winged scale built to impress. To charm. But monarch butterflies are in trouble.

This year saw the smallest migration ever recorded to their winter retreat in the mountains of Mexico.

Read More

Filed in: AudioBlog

Monarch butterfly decline linked to spread of GM crops

June 6, 2014By
Monarch butterfly decline linked to spread of GM crops

The main cause of the monarch butterfly’s decline is the loss of milkweed — its food — in its U.S. breeding grounds, a new study has found. That all but confirms that the spread of genetically modified crops is indirectly killing the monarch.

This past winter, the number of monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico fell to its lowest since 1993, when records first started being kept, the World Wildlife Fund and Mexico’s Environment Department reported in January.

Read More

Filed in: AudioBlog

Helping hands for Missouri Monarchs

May 22, 2014By
Helping hands for Missouri Monarchs

Most of us are familiar with that icon of the insect world, the black and orange Monarch butterfly. What you might not know is that Monarch numbers are dwindling at an alarming rate.

80 percent of the population gone in the past 15 years. During the same time frame a 60 percent decline in the amount of milkweed growing out there on the great plains and in the Midwest.

Read More

Filed in: AudioBlog