Saturday, February 11, 2017

Monarch butterflies decline to historic low

 Overwintering monarch butterflies in Mexico have declined by 27%.  These historic lows may be related to declining habitat and increases in erratic weather.
 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released the following statement from Omar Vidal, CEO of WWF in Mexico:
"The monarch migration is a phenomenon like no other. But now, it’s imperiled by forces the monarchs themselves cannot control. The reduction in the area of forest they occupied this year - most probably due to the high mortality caused by storms and cold weather last year - is a clear reminder for the three countries that they must step up actions to protect breeding, feeding and migratory habitat."
"We cannot control the climate, but we can do much better in eradicating illegal logging in the reserve and tackling habitat loss in the U.S. and Canada. But, even if Mexico's overwintering sites never lose another tree, without food and habitat along the migration routes the forests will soon bid farewell to their final orange and black-winged tenant."
Consumers can help butterflies by taking care to use wood and wood products from known sustainable sources, protect natural habitats, and to plant milkweed.  Many kinds of milkweed are well suited to home landscaping.  Gardeners should take care to avoid insecticides.   Gardeners who plant native milkweeds and then use insecticides kill monarchs. 

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