Monarchs fly south for the winter

Sep 12, 2005

As many as 300 million monarch butterflies are now flying south from Canada and the northern United States to winter in Mexico and Southern California.

But, thanks to this year's hot and dry U.S. summer, the number of monarchs has soared, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday.

"I counted over 100 just looking out the window while I was getting a cup of coffee," Doug Taron, curator of biology at the Chicago's Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, told the newspaper.

This summer's hot and dry conditions were nearly perfect for the black and gold butterflies, increasing their numbers up to 10 times over last year in some area.

"It's the drought," Taron said. "Butterflies in general seem to do well in warm, dry years." He said such weather conditions eliminate many of the funguses and bacteria that usually kill the monarchs' eggs or destroy the butterflies while they are still caterpillars.

The monarch butterflies will fly more than 2,000 miles to gather at a dozen wintering areas in the mountains west of Mexico City.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Rosetta comet-landing is Science's 2014 breakthrough

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Washington takes on Uber with its own taxi app

3 hours ago

Washington is developing a smartphone app to enable its taxis to compete head-on with Uber and other ride-sharing services, the US capital's taxi commission said Friday.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in living color

3 hours ago

Rosetta's OSIRIS team have produced a color image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it would be seen by the human eye. As anticipated, the comet turns out to be very grey indeed, with only slight, subtle ...

EU clean air, waste laws at risk

3 hours ago

EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker faces a clash with lawmakers after leaked documents Friday revealed his plans to drop laws on clean air and waste recycling.

Recommended for you

Why are UK teenagers skipping school?

9 hours ago

Analysis of the results of a large-scale survey reveals the extent of truancy in English secondary schools and sheds light on the mental health of the country's teens.

Fewer lectures, more group work

10 hours ago

Professor Cees van der Vleuten from Maastricht University is a Visiting Professor at Wits University who believes that learning should be student centred.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.