Monarch butterfly populations may be more stable than previously thought




  • In Science
  • 2022-06-10 20:32:00Z
  • By NBC News
 

Monarch butterfly populations in North America may be more stable than scientists previously thought - at least during the summer breeding months, according to new research.

A study published Friday in the journal Global Change Biology found that monarch populations in some parts of North America in the summer are actually increasing, which may be helping to offset well-documented declines attributed to the insects' winter migration and environmental threats.

"There's this perception out there that monarch populations are in dire trouble, but we found that's not at all the case," Andy Davis, an assistant research scientist at the University of Georgia's Odum School of Ecology and one of the study's authors, said in a statement.

The research, based on observations collected from 1993 to 2018, is potentially good news for the overall health of monarch butterflies, but the findings are likely to be controversial among conservationists who have spent years drawing attention to the plight of monarchs and their dwindling winter colonies.

There are two types of migratory monarchs in North America: the Eastern monarch butterflies and the Western monarch butterflies.

Eastern monarchs typically breed over the summer across a wide swath of the United States and Canada east of the Rocky Mountains. The insects then travel south to overwinter in parts of central Mexico. Western monarchs usually spend the summers breeding within a much narrower corridor, in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state. These insects typically overwinter along the California coast, at sites stretching from Marin County in the north to Baja California.

Both populations have seen steep declines in their winter colonies in recent decades, owing in part to the overuse of pesticides, habitat loss from agriculture and urban development, and climate change.

The new study found, however, that a successful summer breeding season can help make up for losses over the winter.

"A single female can lay 500 eggs, so they're capable of rebounding tremendously, given the right resources," Davis said in the statement. "What that means is that the winter colony declines are almost like a red herring. They're not really representative of the entire species' population, and they're kind of misleading."

The researchers found an overall increase in monarch abundance, relative to other butterflies observed at various sites around the country, of about 1.4 percent per year, according to the study.

The population increases were not uniform across breeding sites. While upticks were detected in the Northwest, Southeast and Upper Midwest, declines were seen across Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, southern Wisconsin and parts of the Northeast, the researchers reported.

The study was based on more than 135,000 observations gathered by citizen scientists for the North American Butterfly Association. The data, collected over a two-day period every summer from 1993 to 2018, documented sightings of monarchs and other butterfly species.

The findings could help provide a more complete understanding of how monarchs and other insect populations are faring in North America, said William Snyder, an entomologist at the University of Georgia and a co-author of the study.

"There's this idea out there about an insect apocalypse - all the insects are going to be lost," Snyder said in a statement. "But it's just not that simple."

COMMENTS

More Related News

U.S. hits the EV accelerator to cut Chinese metals ties: Andy Home
U.S. hits the EV accelerator to cut Chinese metals ties: Andy Home
  • US
  • 2022-08-16 14:58:19Z

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes the "largest investment ever in combating the existential crisis of climate change", according to President Joe Biden, who will sign the bill into law later on Tuesday. Around $369 billion of federal funds will flow into climate change and energy security, boosting domestic capacity to produce wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles. However, the green investment comes with a metallic sting in the tail.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

  • facebook解封
    (2022-06-29 12:58:23Z)

    事实上,facebook账户被屏蔽是正常的。特别是在美国大选的初期,该组织发布了许多信息,都在抱怨账户被屏蔽。如果您的个人数据是真实的,并且没有严重违反社区规定,那么解封并不困难

    REPLY
  • 海外网红搜索
    (2022-07-04 03:46:37Z)

    虹雀KOL是专为出海品牌定制的海外网红营销平台,为您提供1800万YouTube、Instagram、TikTok三大主流平台的海外网红搜索、商业价值分析、网红任务发布&全流程管理、邮件营销闭环、网红私域管理等功能,帮助品牌安全高效全面地构建海外红人营销体系,快速满足出海品牌网红挖掘与合作需求,抢占海外社媒营销流量高地,加速品牌成长,实现品牌影响力和产品销量的同步增长。我们专注跨境电商领域7年,沉淀积累多年的海外网红营销经验数据及案例,为您提供专业可靠的功能支持,力求让中国卖家全球大卖变得更简单!

    REPLY
  • office space design
    (2022-07-04 11:53:51Z)

    汇德绘于2014年成立于深圳,擅长办公室设计装修、工装设计,由来自上海、深圳、台北等各地的设计菁英联合组成,凭藉著多年从事外企办公室、酒店、商业空间、别墅、私宅的设计经验,自创立之初即致力于为客户创造富含文化、艺术、实用机能与个性的理想空间。我们所关注的不仅止于空间美感的塑造,更勇于运用新材料与新技术来追求突破,在环保的基础上将美学、机能与创新融合于一体。

    REPLY
  • Security Cameras
    (2022-07-05 04:12:06Z)

    There are no universal rules for security camera placement, as your property layout, budget, and home security priorities are different from those of your neighbors. However, this guide will help you explore all aspects of your home security settings and determine what you need based on your home's vulnerabilities. Not all homes are the same, but everyone's property deserves protection. Security cameras are an excellent tool for peace of mind as they allow you to monitor your property.

    REPLY
  • 亚马逊站外推广工具
    (2022-07-05 06:07:26Z)

    免费好用,想查就查!跨境电商亚马逊运营超爱用的工具!提供买家黑名单和权重查询、站外推广查询、关键词反查、ASIN飙升榜、ASIN库存查询等功能。致力为AMZ卖家增效降本!

    REPLY

Top News: Science