Monarch Butterflies Expected to Rebound in Mexico
The Associated Press
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October 4, 2014
Mexican officials from the World Wildlife Fund are expressing their optimism that the monarch butterfly population may soon rebound, as the deforestation of their wintering habitats is showing signs of having significantly slowed. (WWF)
MEXICO CITY — Deforestation is down in the Mexican forest that is the winter home of Monarch butterflies, and scientists also hope to see a rebound in the annual migration after it fell to historic lows last year, an expert said Thursday.
Omar Vidal of the World Wildlife Fund said two to three times more Monarchs may arrive this year, compared to last year.
“The data from the United States indicates a light recovery,” Vidal said. “They are calculating that we can expect at least double the number and perhaps triple.”
Last year, the Monarch population dropped to the lowest level since record-keeping began in 1993, covering just two-thirds of a hectare (1.65 acres) in the pine and fir forests west of Mexico City.
But even if the number of butterflies triples, they would cover only about 2 hectares (5 acres). That would be just over one-tenth of the record high of 18.2 hectares (45 acres) in 1996-97.
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