Menu

Migrating Monarch Numbers Rebound

The iconic butterflies have flocked to their Mexican overwintering grounds, seemingly reversing recent population declines.

Mar 1, 2016
Bob Grant

Monarchs in Michoacan, MexicoWIKIMEDIA, SCOTT CLARKResearchers and conservationists are breathing guarded sighs of relief after a new analysis of the area of forest covered by monarch butterflies at hibernation sites in central Mexico last year was more than three times larger than the previous year. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced the findings in Mexico City last week (February 26).

While the 10 acres that hibernating monarchs covered in Michoacán State and Mexico State was more than the 2.79 acres they covered in 2014 and the 1.66 acres they covered in 2013, it is nowhere near the approximately 45 acres the insects covered in 1996. “Now more than ever, Mexico, the United States, and Canada should increase their conservation efforts to protect and restore the habitat of this butterfly along its migratory route,” Omar Vidal, director general for WWF-Mexico, said in a statement.

Daniel Ashe, director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, agreed. “We are seeing the beginning of success,” he told The New York Times. “Our task now is to continue building on that success.”

Though the issue of monarch butterfly decline is far from settled, most scientists who study the insects suggest that the main threats to the species and their remarkable migration are logging in their Mexican overwintering sites and pesticide use in the U.S. and Canada, which harms the milkweed on which the insects exclusively feed.

Conservationists hope to restore monarch butterfly populations to 250 million by 2050. “A simple stand of native milkweed can make every backyard, school, community center, city park and place of worship a haven for breeding or migrating monarchs, and together we can bring about the greatest citizen conservation victory of our generation,” Ashe told Discovery.

November 2018

Intelligent Science

Wrapping our heads around human smarts

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Complete Pathology Solutions: Make Every Minute Count

Complete Pathology Solutions: Make Every Minute Count

From sample collection and handling, to fixation and processing, tissue staining, and covering all your IHC and water purification needs—you can have confidence in the quality of your results with MilliporeSigma's one-stop pathology solution.

Preparing Cell Or Tissue Lysates For ELISA Kits

Preparing Cell Or Tissue Lysates For ELISA Kits

RayBiotech manufactures over 2,000 high fully validated, GMP-compliant ELISA kits. In this blog post we explain how to prepare cell or tissue lysates for ELISA Kits.

Norgen Biotek Achieves Illumina Propel Certification as a Service Provider for Next Generation Sequencing

Norgen Biotek Achieves Illumina Propel Certification as a Service Provider for Next Generation Sequencing

Norgen Biotek Corp., an innovative privately held Canadian biotechnology company focusing primarily on nucleic acid and protein stabilization and purification, as well as providing high quality services to the scientific community, today announced that it has become Propel-Certified through Illumina as a Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) service provider.

Slice® Safety Cutters for Lab Work

Slice® Safety Cutters for Lab Work

Slice cutting tools—which feature our patent-pending safety blades—meet many lab-specific requirements. Our scalpels and craft knives are well suited for delicate work, and our utility knives are good for general use.