Missoula MT: Monarch Butterfly Migration is Down and How You Can Help

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The gorgeous Monarch Butterfly captured while sampling pollen from Lantana flowers. This beautiful orange and black butterfly seems to be making a comeback after years of decline, likely caused by man's encroachment on its environment. This photo captures a side portrait and was taken in Southern Quebec in the summertime.

MISSOULA – Famous for its seasonal migration in the millions, the brilliantly colored monarch butterfly is one of the most recognizable and well-studied insects on the planet.

Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium Development Director Glenn Marangelo explains that people have gravitated toward monarch butterflies because of their population decline.

“It’s kind of the poster child for insects in a lot of ways because people like butterflies in general. The monarch is a beautiful butterfly. It’s got an amazing life story — a huge incredible migration — and so it’s a great ambassador to get people to pay attention to insects,” Marangelo said.

Over the past few decades, the monarch butterfly populations have steeply declined with some populations decreasing by 99%. This steep decline has prompted conservationists to advocate for them to be on the Endangered Species List.

“There’s efforts stating that they should be listed. Some people [are] saying that their populations aren’t doing as bad, some people saying that they’re in really bad shape, some people saying that they’re hanging on,” Marangelo said.

“In general, a downward trend over the last couple decades. The numbers are way, way down from what they were 20 to 30 years ago. I think it’s safe to say they’re not doing well for a variety of reasons. Again, they’re kind of that poster child for what’s happening with a lot of insects,” continued Marangelo.

Read the rest of this amazing journey here. By Tanner Saul 8KPAX




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