Iowa Public Television


75 Percent Drop in Monarchs Reported

posted on February 18, 2005

The Mexican government said this week that 75 percent fewer Monarch butterflies have appeared at wintering grounds, largely blaming conditions in the United States and Canada for the decline.

The steep drop may have been due to cold weather and intensive farming practices -- including the use of genetically modified crops -- in areas of the U.S. and Canada where the butterflies spend the summer and reproduce, the Environment Department said.

The report marks the first time in recent years that Mexico has blamed other countries -- rather than its own continuing problems with the illegal logging of central Mexico fir forests that make up the winter nesting grounds -- for declines in the butterfly population.

Tags: animals butterflies genetic engineering insects Mexico news