The Current

Have Monarch butterflies been deposed?

The torrent of Monarch butterflies heading South is a pathetic trickle this year. The annual butterfly count at Point Pelee Park is cancelled since there are so few to count. Today, we explore how this year's strange weather has affected the kings of the fields....
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The torrent of Monarch butterflies heading South is a pathetic trickle this year. The annual butterfly count at Point Pelee Park is cancelled since there are so few to count. Today, we explore how this year's strange weather has affected the kings of the fields.



The kings of the field are as rare as a day in June this past summer.

Every September more than 20,000 thousand people travel to Point Pelee National Park in Southern Ontario to witness a mass migration. Thousands of song birds pass through on their way south. But perhaps the most spectacular sight each year is the glorious orange-and-black army of Monarch Butterflies.

This year however, the army resembles Napoleon's on its way back from Moscow.
The annual Visitor Walks with park staff have been suspended because there just aren't enough Monarchs to count.

This is a tough year for butterflies in Point Pelee ... and beyond.

Chip Taylor is Founder and Director of Monarch Watch and a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas. He says the this year's strange weather has interrupted the butterfly breeding cycle and their habitat is shrinking. Chip Taylor was in Lawrence, Kansas.


Have you noticed less monarch butterflies this summer?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Kristin Nelson.

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