Friday, 8 February 2019

Monarch butterfly population wintering in Mexico increases 144%

Monarch production will not be replicated next year, experts warn, as above average temperatures will cause problems
Associated Press in Mexico City
Wed 30 Jan 2019 21.28 GMTLast modified on Thu 31 Jan 2019 18.10 GMT
The population of monarch butterflies wintering in central Mexico is up 144% over last year, according to new research.
The data was cheered but scientists quickly warned that it does not mean the butterflies that migrate from Canada and the United States are out of danger.
This winter, researchers found the butterflies occupying 14.95 acres (6.05 hectares) of pine and fir forests in the mountains of Michoacán and Mexico states – an increase from 6.12 acres a year ago.
This year’s is the biggest measurement since the 2006-2007 period, said Andrew Rhodes, Mexico’s national commissioner for protected natural areas. A historic low of just 1.66 acres (0.67 hectares) was recorded in 2013-2014.
Jorge Rickards, director of World Wildlife Fund in Mexico which participates in the monitoring, cautioned that the butterflies, like other insects, see their annual populations rise and fall and the monarchs have had a declining trend. This year’s number was positive, but there is no guarantee it will continue.

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