Monarch Population Plummets in Mexico

by Pam Mikula, Web Ecologist

On December 30, 1995, snow began to fall in Mexico which would be the downfall of millions of monarch butterflies. Snow fell for two days accumulating to over 7 inches and was followed by a cold wave that swept down from Canada over Michoacan state west of Mexico City, the wintering ground for 50 million to 60 million butterflies.

No one is quite sure as of yet just how many individuals have died, but researchers have already begun to gather data to answer this question. Estimates range from 8% to 30%, which doesn't compare to the 70% that died in February 1992 from heavy snows. Unfortunately, due to current logging practices which destroy monarch wintering sites, the monarch population of the east may decrease dramatically in only a few years.

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Last Updated: Last Updated: Apr 17, 1997
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