Tuesday, February 5, 2019

More Monarchs for backyards this summer...

                                                                                                                    Photo by Barry Wallace  Monarch numbers up 144% in Mexico
The number of monarch butterflies overwintering in central Mexico is up 144% over the previous year, according to new research,  but scientists warn that it does not mean the butterflies that migrate from Canada and United States are out of danger.   2019 is the largest measurement since the 2006-2007 period says Mexico's commissioner for protected natural areas.  A historic low of just 1.66 acres was recorded in 2013-2014.   Butterflies, like other insects, see their populations rise and fall and the monarchs have a declining trend.   This year's numbers are positive, but do not guarantee the future.   The first monarchs crossed into Mexico last year more than a week later than usual on October 20th owing to rain and cold along the Texas-Mexico border.   Once in Mexican territory, hope for the future rises.  Scientists say 15 acres should be seen as a minimum for migrating monarchs.   Loss of habitat, especially the milkweed, where monarchs lay their eggs, pesticide and herbicide use, and climate change will continue to pose threats to the species.   My backyard awaits...

                                                                                                   Photo by Barry Wallace
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Barry Wallace

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