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Alicia Graef – Why Millions of Monarchs Are Being Killed in Mexico

While international efforts are under way to help keep dwindling populations of monarch butterflies from disappearing, scientists are raising concerns about how severe weather and a loss of forest habitat at their wintering grounds in Mexico are affecting them. Every year, monarchs embark on an epic multigenerational migration that takes them thousands of miles from Canada and the U.S. in search of …

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Near extinction possible for monarch butterflies

A new study (abstract below) has found that the monarch butterfly population in the US has “a substantial probability of quasi-extinction, from 11–57% over 20 years”. The study repeats the well-documented fact that a major factor in the decline of the monarch is the adoption of herbicide-tolerant GM corn and soybeans. The herbicide spraying has killed off the monarch larvae’s only food, …

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‘The Bees Can’t Wait’: White House Plan to Save Pollinators Falls Short, Say Experts – Lauren McCauley

Faced with the growing crisis of declining bee populations, the White House on Tuesday released its strategy for improving pollinator health. Almost immediately, experts decried the plan, saying it “misses the mark” by refusing to acknowledge the overwhelming role that pesticides play in driving bee deaths. Under the strategy (pdf) put forth by the Pollinator Health Task Force, which falls under the …

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Saving the Monarch Butterfly – David Suzuki

The monarch butterfly is a wonderful creature with an amazing story. In late summer, monarchs in southern Canada and the U.S. northeast take flight, travelling over 5,000 kilometres to alpine forests in central Mexico. The overwintering butterflies cling to fir trees there in masses so dense that branches bow under their weight. The monarch’s multigenerational journey northward is every bit as remarkable as …

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USDA research links pesticides to monarch butterfly declines

USDA researchers have identified the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin as a likely contributor to monarch butterfly declines in North America. The USDA research is published in the journal Science of Nature and was published online on April 3rd (Pecenka and Lundgren 2015). Monarch butterfly populations (Danaus Plexippus) have declined precipitously in North America in the last twenty years. This decline has …