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The Source: Monarch Migration Under Threat

Monika Maeckle
Texas Butterfly Ranch
Monarch on Swamp Milkweed on the Llano River

  Every year a generation of monarchs reach the forests of Mexico's Michoacan region. The 2,800-mile journey south from the U.S. takes four generations of monarchs in a single year. Millions of the butterflies turn the forest orange as they wait out the winter for six to eight months. 

Scientists in Mexico are saying the lowest migration they have ever seen made it back this past season. 
6,000 acres of monarch habitat disappear everyday in America, according to Monarch Watch, an advocacy organization trying to educate people about the plight of the Monarch butterfly. Milkweed is the only plant that Monarch's will lay eggs on and due to the drought and urbanization there are fewer and fewer areas that can support the insects.

The plight of the Monarch is grabbing national headlines as NAFTA presidents, billionaires and everyday citizens work to save the monarch. 


  • Monika Maeckle, a butterfly enthusiast who blogs at Texas Butterfly Ranch 
  • Chip Taylor, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Kansas and founder of Monarch Watch
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive