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Mexico Documents Big Rebound in Monarch Butterflies

Mark Stevenson - The Associated Press
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February 27, 2016
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A kaleidoscope of Monarch butterflies hang from a tree branch, in the Piedra Herrada sanctuary, near Valle de Bravo, Mexico. (AP/Rebecca Blackwell)

Monarch butterflies have made a big comeback in their wintering grounds in Mexico, after suffering serious declines, investigators said Friday.

The area covered by the orange-and-black insects in the mountains west of Mexico City this season was more than three and a half times greater than last winter. The butterflies clump so densely in the pine and fir forests they are counted by the area they cover rather than by individuals.

The number of monarchs making the 5,500-kilometre migration from the United States and Canada declined steadily in recent years before recovering in 2014. This winter was even better.

This December, the butterflies covered a total of 10 acres, compared to 2.8 acres in 2014 and a record low of 1.66 acres in 2013.

While the news was good, the monarchs still face problems: The butterflies covered as much as 44 acres 20 years ago.

Read the rest at Global News

Related: Mexico, US & Canada to Protect Monarch Butterflies (teleSUR)

Related: Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Reserve Lost 24 Acres to Logging This Year (The Associated Press)

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