Monarch numbers in Mexico declining

The Associated Press

Monarch butterflies gather on a tree at a butterfly sanctuary near Angangueo, Mexico, in March 2005.

The Associated Press MEXICO CITY (AP) — The number of monarch butterflies wintering in Mexican forests declined for a second consecutive year, a government official said Monday.

Alejandro Del Mazo, Mexico’s commissioner for protected areas, said the monarchs clumped in trees covering about 2.48 hectares this winter. That was down about 14.7 percent from the 2.91 hectares the previous winter.

The monarch butterflies’ migration is measured by the area they cover in pine and fir forests west of Mexico City. Millions of the butterflies make the 5,500-kilometer migration from the United States and Canada each year.

Jorge Rickards, director of the World Wildlife Fund in Mexico, which participated in the annual study, said a particularly busy hurricane season could have been a factor.Speech

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