Monarch butterflies down again this year as decline continues

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Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) - Photo by Derek Ramsey

The future of Monarch butterflies looks more uncertain than ever and their numbers are expected to be alarmingly down again this year, says a Texas A&M University researcher.

Craig Wilson, a senior research associate in the Centre for Mathematics and Science Education and a long-time butterfly enthusiast, says reports by the World Wildlife Fund, private donors and Mexico’s Michoacan state show that Monarch numbers will be down almost 30 percent in 2012 as they make their annual trek from their breeding grounds in Mexico and move across Texas.

The figures show an alarming decades-long decline in their numbers, Wilson says, adding that it is best “that we take the long view rather than yearly cycles.

“The latest information shows that Monarchs will be down from 25 to 30 percent this year, and that has been part of a disturbing trend the last few years,” Wilson notes.

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We live in central N.M. and I have been an avid Butterfly chaser for several years. The last two years has seen a very noticeable drop off in them, especially the Monarchs.

Guess I’ll be more alert and treasure each shot I get !!!!

Geebob at Bosque del Apache.

Carol Duke

I wonder how much the drought last year affected the monarchs . . . going through Texas? Also it is tragic that the overwintering sites are being illegally cut . . . the boreal forests are like a down coat and it is thiner each year causing so many to freeze. I will have to go and read the article. Thanks for sharing!


And how is future in the Europe?