That was a encouraging, since the 2012/2013 Monarch butterfly population in Mexico, where they overwinter, was 80 percent lower than the average, according to the website Journey North, citing statistics from the World Wildlife Fund-Mexico.
There are many factors affecting Monarch migration recently, including a drought in 2012, a cold Spring 2013, and an unproductive summer breeding season in 2013. Long term factors have taken a toll as well, according to Journey North, including a reduction in habitats that support milkweed, which Monarchs eat exclusively, an increase in extreme weather, and a variety of factors in Mexico, including deforestation, an increase in eco-tourism, and population increases near butterfly habitats.
Donna lives in the northeast corner of Clinton, close to where where Killingworth, Clinton and Westbrook meet. Has anyone else seen any Monarchs near there or anywhere else along the shoreline? If so, let us know in the comments, and log your sighting at one or more these sites suggested by Journey North:
- Migration and milkweed observations: Journey North
- Breeding observations: Monarch Larva Monitoring Program
- Disease monitoring: Monarch Health
- Butterfly counts: North American Butterfly Association
- Monarch tagging: Monarch Watch
Here are some more steps you can take to help Monarch butterflies, according to Journey North, including creating a Monarch habitat, sharing your observations, taking steps to protect breeding habitat, and supporting conservation organizations.
Read more at Journey North.
To check out more of Donna Johnson Buckley's photography, you can see what she has for sale at the UPS stores at 24 West Main Street in Clinton and at 800 Village Walk in Guilford, and at at Annie Mame at 11 Garnet Park Road in Madison. Or you can follow her on Facebook.