Monarch butterflies decline at wintering grounds in Mexico, Texas drought adds to stress to migration
A study published online last spring in Insect Conservation and Diversity shows a decrease in Mexico’s overwintering monarch butterflies between 1994 and 2011. The butterflies face loss of wintering habitat in Mexico and breeding habitat in the United States. Extreme weather, like winter storms in Mexico and the ongoing drought in Texas, adds yet another challenge.
The seeds of the decline date back more than 40 years as commercial and subsistence logging—now illegal in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve—have fragmented the forest on which the butterflies depend for winter survival. Between 1971 and 1999, logging degraded 44 percent of the high-quality overwintering habitat within the reserve. more