Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The Migration of Monarch Butterflies

The Mexican mountain where orange, black Monarch butterflies gather in countless numbers covers 10 ACRES after a 3,400 mile journey from the US, they've earned a rest. The butterflies travel down from the United States and Canada to spend their winters in the mountains west of Mexico City where they are counted by biologists. Unfortunately population of Monarch butterflies have been in serious decline in the recent years, but thanks to conservation efforts by the Canadian, Mexican and American governments, putting great efforts to increase the insects have been making a big comeback. The Monarch butterflies habit of congregating in thick clumps, are counted by the surface area they cover instead of individually.

The population has grown up since 2014 after a threatening drop as compare to previous decade. In the last winter the population had increased in significant number covered 10 acres, as compared to 2.8 acres of 2014. The lowest population was recorded in 2013, when only 1.66 acres covered. Millions of butterflies congregate, clustering onto pine and oyamel trees, appear orange and branches sag from the weight. These butterflies over the time to make this journey, four generations of monarch butterflies are born and die migration patterns are altered by climate change.
The nature lovers believed Mexico, United States, and Canada should enhance their conservation efforts to protect and restore the habitat of this butterfly along its migratory route. Moreover, in the recent times, United States is working to reinstate milkweed, a plant important to the butterflies' migration, on about 1,160 square miles within 5 years, both by planting and by designating pesticide-free areas. In addition it is also cracking down on illegal logging in the area the butterflies call home, as the trees are critical protection for the flimsy animals against the weather.

During migration, monarchs fly north once they are exposed to cooler temperatures. Therefore, dense congregations are supposed to conserve heat, however if warmed by the sun, the butterflies take flight. Moreover, the beating of their wings has been compared to the sound of a light rain and the reserve is susceptible to lethal, freezing temperatures.

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