Latest Study: Decline in Monarch Butterfly due to Loss of Milkweed

Latest Study: Decline in Monarch Butterfly due to Loss of Milkweed

According to a latest study, there has been a significant decline in the population of monarch butterfly in the eastern part of North America. The decline has been attributed to the loss of milkweed in the breeding grounds of U.S.

The milkweed plant is important since it is the only group of plants on which the monarch butterflies feed. These butterflies also lay their eggs on milkweed and their generations migrate up north from Mexico after laying eggs. When the breeding season ends, they head back thousands of kilometres in order to start the cycle again.

In the recent past, their population in Mexico has been dwindling, the month of December having the lowest recorded numbers.

There is evidence that due to major cultivation in the US corn belt of corn and soybean crops that are genetically modified, a major side effect on the milkweed crops has been observed.

Whenever any genetically modified crops are planted in a field, herbicides are sprayed to wipe out any wild plants. Due to this, the milkweed which grows adjacent to the crops is damaged.

A new study which has been published in the Animal Ecology Journal draws on all the information regarding the logging in Mexico, change in the climatic conditions, prevalence of milkweed and the timing of migration of monarchs. All this data is analysed and the researchers then study the yearly cycle of butterflies.

The findings of this study are also based on the mathematical model which includes many factors which are linked to the decline of butterfly populations and changed the beliefs that were long-held that the drop in population was because of degradation of the Mexican wintering grounds.

US, Canada and Mexico formed a working group in February for the conservation of monarch butterflies. This group also holds discussions on the restoration of milkweeds.


User login



You May Have Missed...

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 17:11

Danish researchers at the University of Copenhagen have discovered how to map more than one protein at a time, when proteins repair damaged DNA....


Nigeria Update

Fresh Polio Cases lead to WHO Travel Restrictions on Pakistan and Syria
Tue, 05/06/2014 - 00:45

World Health Organization has slapped international travel restrictions on Pakistan, Cameroon...


Economy Watch

Federal Reserve officials not sure about Right Time to Increase Interest Rates
Thu, 02/19/2015 - 09:12

Federal Reserve officials held minutes of the January 27-28 meeting and it indicated that...


Health Tonight

Breastfeeding good for Both Mother and Child
Mon, 05/04/2015 - 12:17

The findings of a new research have showed that breastfeeding offers many health benefits for...


Science Tonight

Spiders Sprayed with Graphene Produce Toughest Silk
Fri, 05/08/2015 - 17:01

According to experts, spider's silk is one of the strongest natural materials of the world. The...


UK News

Natural History Museum scientist claims Loch Ness exists
Sun, 04/19/2015 - 09:35

A leading scientists working with the Natural History Museum in the UK has claimed that the Loch...


Pharmaceuticals

Astrazeneca’s Experimental Drug to Treat COPD Fails to Reduce Acute Exacerbation
Mon, 09/08/2014 - 13:17

On Monday, AstraZeneca PLC announced that Phase IIa study of benralizumab, an experimental drug...


US News

Use of Mobility Devices Increases among Elderly Americans
Thu, 05/07/2015 - 15:02

Age is not acting as a hurdle for elderly Americans, revealed a new study. They are taking help...


Technology Tonight

Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 --- an impressive low-cost, high-quality handset
Tue, 04/28/2015 - 13:25

Alcatel has recently announced the launch of its latest low-cost handset --- the high-quality...