Monarch butterfly problems ease, but not over

From the Pioneer Press in the USA:

Monarch migration doubles from 2010

Updated: 02/15/2011 12:52:16 AM CST

MEXICO CITY — The number of monarch butterflies migrating from Canada and the U.S. to Mexico has increased this year, a hopeful sign after a worrying 75 percent drop in their numbers last year, experts reported Monday. The total amount of forest covered by the colonies — millions of orange-and-black butterflies that hang in clumps from the boughs of fir trees — more than doubled from last year’s historic low. But concerns persist about the monarchs’ long-term survival, because their numbers remain well below average.

This winter, there are 9.9 acres of colonies, more than double the 4.7 acres last year, the lowest level since comparable recordkeeping began in 1993.

The population has been hurt by deforestation of mountaintop pines in Mexico’s western Michoacan state that serve as ‘blankets’ to protect the insects against winter rain and cold.

Monarch butterflies boost as numbers could reach 200 million this year: here.

Monarch Butterfly Populations Tumbling: here.

Mexican moth Copaxa lavendera in the Netherlands: here.

Scientists have discovered that it takes a special kind of butterfly to venture off in search of new, suitable habitat. According to a recent study, butterflies that leave their home range in search of new places to live are genetically different from those that stay at home, on familiar ground: here.

March 2011. In many butterfly species the males can be seen fighting intensively for territory. What determines who wins is something that has long eluded researchers. However a dissertation from the Department of Zoology at Stockholm University in Sweden now shows that what decides who wins is the motivation of the combatants: here.

Why bison could save Europe’s butterflies: here.

May 2011. Scientists at London’s Natural History Museum have discovered a new butterfly species in its vast collections. The new tropical butterfly species is called the zebra-like ringlet, Splendeuptychia mercedes. It lives only in Peru and was named by Blanca Huertas, Butterfly Curator at the Museum: here.

Pointers on starting a butterfly garden for mother’s day: here.

5 thoughts on “Monarch butterfly problems ease, but not over

  1. Pingback: Monarch butterfly in England | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Monarch butterflies in trouble | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Monarch butterfly migration, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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