It’s troubling news for an insect that represents nature at its most powerful — a tiny, delicate creature that can travel nearly 3000 miles from the northern US and southern Canada to its overwintering destination in Mexico.
The presence of monarch butterflies in Mexico’s forests this past winter was 35% greater than the previous year, according to the most recent survey of the region led by WWF Mexico. This increase marks a sign of recovery—albeit a fragile one—and gives some reason for hope against a backdrop of several decades of decline for the iconic species.
Every year, the Eastern monarch butterfly flies up to 2,500 miles from its breeding grounds in the US and Canada, all the way down to its hibernation grounds in central Mexico. These tiny creatures have the most highly evolved migratory pattern of any known species of their kind, but this unique phenomenon is under threat.
The latest survey assessing the population of monarch butterflies that winter in Mexico indicates a population decrease of 53% since the previous season. In the 2019-2020 wintering season, the area of forest occupied by monarch butterflies was 7 acres, down from 15 acres in the 2018 - 2019 season.
The latest survey of monarch butterfly habitat in Mexico is a testament to the power of conservation. This year’s survey, conducted by WWF-Mexico and partners, found monarchs in 14.94 acres of forest, up from 6.12 acres at the same time last winter.
When we think of wild animals losing their habitats, we usually envision elephants, rhinos, and tigers in faraway places. But monarch butterflies are losing their homes right here in the US—and our food is playing a part.
On World Heritage Day, we’re highlighting some of the incredible sites that WWF is working to save. These sites belong to all of us, and together we can protect them for wildlife and people around the world.
The latest survey of monarch butterfly’s winter habitat in Mexico is a stark reminder that these butterflies are in need of protection: The area occupied by the butterfly colonies has decreased 27% compared to last year’s survey, which is conducted every winter at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve.
Come Oct. 31, folks across the country will transform from everyday people to ghouls, goblins, and more. But humans aren’t the only ones who change costume. Check out the animals below that change their color, shape, and more seasonally or over time.
On Halloween, we’re all searching through our clothing for the perfect black and orange outfit. Some animals in the wild already sport the colors. From swimming the seas to flying through the skies, these creatures don Halloween fashion all year round.
Every year, monarch butterflies mirgrate between 1,200 to 2,800 miles, leaving their summer breeding areas in Canada and the United States to return to hibernation colonies in the forests of central Mexico. To help local communities keep the forest intact, WWF helps establish alternative income-generating ventures, including sustainable mushroom and tree nurseries.
World Wildlife Fund Inc. is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax ID number 52-1693387) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.