There is hope for the monarch butterfly! After years of large declines in the monarch butterfly populations that spend their winters in forests in Mexico, this year there has finally been an increase. Each year these beautiful butterflies travel 1,200-2,800 miles to spend the winter in Mexico where they cluster on trees and cover acres of forests, but the destruction of their natural habitat has severely threatened their numbers. Twenty years ago the butterflies would cover over 44 acres of trees during the winter, but this year they covered only 10 acres, which was still 3.5 times greater than last winter. The monarch butterflies survive by eating and laying their eggs on milkweed plants, but these plants are killed by pesticides or plowed under for land development. Conservationists have been working hard to restore and protect milkweed plants, and create safe habitats for the monarchs, which hopefully will continue to increase their populations. We can work together to help these butterflies increase their numbers by planting milkweed and educating others about the damaging effects of pesticides; and hopefully we will get to see more monarchs this year!
Want to learn more? Visit http://www.cbsnews.com/news/monarch-butterflies-rebound-in-mexico/