monarch butterflies

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Monarch Butterfly Count Suggests Extinction Is Near

Only 2K western monarch butterflies were counted in California this winter

(Newser) - The number of western monarch butterflies wintering along the California coast has plummeted precipitously to a record low, putting the insects closer to extinction, researchers announced Tuesday. An annual winter count by the Xerces Society recorded fewer than 2,000 butterflies, a massive decline from the millions that clustered in...

Earth Is Facing an 'Insect Apocalypse'

1% to 2% of insects disappear annually, but new habitats could help

(Newser) - Insects, considered vital to the food chain, are slowly disappearing, at a rate of 1% to 2% each year in some parts of the world, according to researchers, who are urging the general public to lend a helping hand. We're already seeing "death by a thousand cuts,"...

Another Monarch Butterfly Activist Has Been Found Dead in Mexico

Human rights, environmental organizations are calling for 'justice'

(Newser) - The day after the funeral of a renowned monarch butterfly activist who was found dead in Mexico last week , the body of a second activist was found. Raúl Hernández Romero, who worked as a tour guide at a Michoacán butterfly sanctuary, left work as usual on Jan....

Butterfly Activist's Body Found After 53 Cops Detained

Mexico gang had threatened Homero Gomez

(Newser) - The body of a renowned butterfly expert in Mexico was found in a rainwater tank Wednesday—and few people think he got in there by himself. Homero Gomez, 50, was the manager of a butterfly sanctuary in Michoacan state, which has been wracked by cartel violence, the New York Times...

Monarchs Spotted in Canada. They Should Be in Mexico

And that's bad news for the butterflies

(Newser) - Monarch butterflies should mostly be in Texas by now, winging their way to Mexico for the winter, the AP reports. But Darlene Burgess keeps seeing colorful clusters of them—and she lives in Canada. "As nice as this is to see, I really wish I wouldn't see it...

6M Monarchs Died —in a Single Month

Winter storms blamed for losses in Mexico

(Newser) - More than six million monarch butterflies were killed in a single month in Mexico, showing an increasing need "to protect breeding, feeding, and migratory habitat," says a rep for the World Wildlife Fund. Experts who count the butterflies that migrate from the US and Canada to Mexico each...

Scientists Crack Monarch Butterflies' Big Secret

They're able to monitor time and the sun

(Newser) - Monarch butterflies "are not just pretty animals. They are a biological treasure trove." That's the takeaway from a new study on how the tiny insects manage to navigate thousands of miles from the US and Canada to Mexico: Eli Shlizerman of the University of Washington and his...

Feds Want Your Help to Save Bees

Plan aims to restore 7M acres of bee habitat over 5 years

(Newser) - The federal government hopes to reverse America's declining honeybee and monarch butterfly populations by making more federal land bee-friendly, spending more on research, and considering the use of less pesticides. Scientists say bees—crucial to pollinate many crops—have been hurt by a combination of declining nutrition, mites, disease,...

Government Spending Millions to Save This Butterfly

Monarch population has dropped by 970M in just 2 decades

(Newser) - Just two decades ago, there were about a billion monarch butterflies ; today, there are only some 30 million of the creatures that Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota calls "the most iconic butterfly in North America." The trouble starts when the butterflies are caterpillars whose only food is milkweed,...

Monarch Origin Shocks Scientists

Study finds Monarch butterflies started out in North America

(Newser) - Monarch butterflies are famous for migrating from the US and Canada to Mexico for the winter. Now a surprising study in Nature suggests the species itself also started out in North America some 2 million years ago. A researcher from the University of Chicago says monarchs were widely thought to...

Mexico Spots Hopeful Glimmer for Dwindling Monarchs

Migrating butterflies turn up early after hitting lowest levels last year

(Newser) - Experts in Mexico said yesterday there is a tentative sign of hope for the mass migration of monarch butterflies, whose numbers dropped to their lowest level ever last year. The head of Mexico's nature reserves, Luis Fueyo, said the first butterflies have been seen entering Mexico earlier than usual...

Monarch Migration in Danger of Dying Out

Gardeners urged to plant milkweed

(Newser) - A stunning phenomenon is in danger of disappearing: The annual migration of millions of monarch butterflies from Canada and the US to Mexico every year has sunk to its lowest level on record and is in grave danger of dying out, researchers warn. This winter, the hibernating butterflies coat 1....

Last Yugoslav King Reburied After Return From US

Peter II was only king buried in America

(Newser) - After more than 40 years as the only European king buried in the US , the last king of Yugoslavia has been reburied in the homeland he fled after 11 days on the throne. Peter II received a state funeral in Serbia along with his mother and his wife, whose bodies...

Monarch Numbers Drop 59% in Mexico

Top entomologist calls it 'ominous'

(Newser) - The number of Monarch butterflies making it to their winter refuge in Mexico dropped 59% this year, falling to the lowest level since comparable record-keeping began 20 years ago. It was the third straight year of declines for the butterflies that migrate from the US and Canada to spend the...

Butterflies Return to Mexico

Population doubles last year's devastated numbers

(Newser) - Monarch butterflies are back in Mexico this year, after an alarming 75% drop in their numbers last year. A survey released today found that butterfly colonies encompassed 9.9 acres—a significant increase from the 4.7 acres that alarmed experts last year, reports the AP. The figures are "...

55M Monarchs Can't Be Wrong

Internal clock of 1-ounce butterfly sheds light on human sense of time

(Newser) - The 1-ounce monarch butterfly may have a thing or two to teach us: Each year, some 55 million monarchs make a 4,000-mile multigenerational journey from Canada to Mexico, returning to the same forest, often the same tree, without relying on GPS. How? The insects rely on a unique internal...

Mexican Aid to Protect Monarchs

Calderon promises funds to stem illegal logging in butterflies' habitat

(Newser) - The famous migrating monarch butterflies have a new ally in Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who yesterday said he would devote $4.6 million more to the central Mexican reserve where the butterflies hibernate—and crack down on the illegal logging that threatens the insects' habitat. Calderon hopes the measure will...

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