Scientists this week said the number of monarch butterflies that have begun their annual, 5,000-kilometre migration north from Mexico to Canadian gardens and wild flower patches this summer is down sharply thanks to extreme weather last fall.
A survey released by the World Wildlife Fund and the Mexican National Commission for Protected Areas showed a 15 per cent drop in the forest area occupied by hibernating monarchs in the fir forests of central Mexico this winter.
In absolute terms, that’s likely a loss of about 16 million butterflies compared with this time last year.
Monarchs are a critical element in the North American ecosystem, pollinating a number of wild flowers and serving as food for birds and other insects.
Photo source: en.wikipedia.org