Photo by BarrytheBirder
Monarch Butterfly in a Canadian garden north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Photos above and below: www.telegraph.co.uk
Monarch Butterfly-watching in Mexico is ethereal and mesmerizing.
Armed guards are now used to protect Monarch Butterfly habitat in Mexico.
A local guide in central Mexico is covered in Monarch Butterflies.
Monarch populations are declining drastically, thanks to a deadly combination of factors that include illegal logging in Mexico, wildfires, droughts, and an alarming loss of their crucial milkweed habitat in the United States and Canada. Last winter marked the lowest Monarch Butterfly count ever recorded. The North American monarch population has declined 90% over the past two decades. Numbers dropped from 1 billion monarchs to about 35 million. Scientists are asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to classify the monarch as "threatened" under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. In 1996, monarchs covered 50 acres of forest in Mexico in winter. This past winter they occupied a mere 1.66 acres. One wonders how much longer we can afford to be always playing catch-up on pending environmental disasters. And what of the dichotomy between butterflies and poor farmers?
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