Texas Drought May Have Affected Monarch Migration

FORT WORTH (AP) – Experts say the lingering Texas drought may be affecting the migration of monarch butterflies heading south for the winter.

Biologist Michael Warriner with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department says he’s seen probably only four monarchs in the last three weeks.

Researchers hope to get a better count of the monarchs once they arrive at their winter grounds in Mexico in a few weeks.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Wednesday that the drought has dramatically reduced the main food source for monarch butterflies. The insects need the nectar from blooming plants.

Entomologist Mike Quinn with Texas Monarch Watch says he drove through the Hill Country last month and was disappointed in how many dead plants and how few butterflies he saw.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Lips

    I have lived in FOrt worth for over 30 years this time. But I can remember as a kid having trees full of Monarchs in the morning waiting for it to warm up and for thier wings to dry from the dew. I have been disappointed every year since being an adult by the fact that I only see on eor two a year. However that being said aoubt 3 weeks ago while outside for a break I was so excited I didn’t want to come back ito work. IN the course of about 10 to 15 minutes I counted 15 Monarchs. I was so thrilled I came back to work and told everyone. THe next day when I got home there were 8 in my Mimosa tree. What a beautiful sight. I haven’t seen that many Monarch’s in the last 25 to 30 years and then to see 23 in 2 days wow, what a thrill.

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