Situation Grim But Not Hopeless for Monarch Butterflies

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Most folks are familiar with the situation for Monarch Butterflies, and if not, here is a wonderful and informative post by “gardeninacity” complete with details, beautiful photos from his garden of flowers feeding these beautiful butterflies, and more. Enjoy! Cathy T

gardeninacity

Scientists have just released this year’s report on the number of Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico. Those numbers, measured in the amount of land occupied by Monarch colonies, vary from year to year. The last three years, however, have all been at historic lows.

monarch-population-figure-monarchwatch-2015

There was an increase over last winter, from 0.67 to 1.13 hectares – compared to an average of 9.2 hectares from 1994 to 2004. (A hectare is about 2.5 acres.)

Monarch Butterfly on Mexican Sunflower. Monarch Butterfly on Mexican Sunflower.

From this we can take heart that Monarchs are not yet doomed, but we should not kid ourselves. Scientists tell us that a Monarch population this small is extremely fragile and vulnerable to extinction.

Monarch butterflies Monarch on Swamp Milkweed.

It’s frightening to think that the Monarch migration could be wiped out through the destruction of less than three acres of Mexican forest. Hard to believe as these were such a common butterfly…

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