Monarch Butterflies Just Lost Another Third of Their Population
While international efforts are underway to protect iconic monarch butterflies from disappearing, the latest population count has found their numbers have dropped by nearly one-third since last year.
According to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, in the 1990s, an estimated one billion monarchs embarked on an epic annual migration. Their journey takes them from sites in Canada and the U.S. to wintering grounds in California and Mexico, where they find shelter and warmth among oyamel fir trees in the winter.
Sadly, over the past 15 years they’ve lost millions of acres of habitat and the number of monarchs has steadily dropped by 80 percent, or more by some estimates.
Now the latest overwintering count shows they’ve declined by 27 percent since last year’s count, which has raised serious concerns they may disappear forever. The drop is being attributed to severe winter storms that killed millions of them last spring in Mexico, but they still face a host of other threats that are putting their future in jeopardy.
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