Monarch butterfly populations in central Mexico are booming to a level not seen since 2006. Scientists are hopeful of this trend but doubt it will increase the populations in North America. In California, wildfires, climate change and drought have damaged the habitat and made living conditions difficult for monarch butterflies, but with Mexico’s rebound, there is hope for the future here in the state.
Monarch butterfly population wintering in Mexico increases 144%
Associated Press in Mexico City
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.
The first monarchs crossed into Mexico more than a week later than usual on 20 October owing to rain and cold along the Texas-Mexico border, Rhodes said.
“Once in Mexican territory, the butterflies occupied an area that gives us a lot of hope for the future,” Rhodes said.
Scientists said the approximately 15 acres coverage should be seen as a minimum for the viability of the migrating monarchs in the future. participation in the Advanced insight and leadership
Read more at the Guardian