Saturday, December 10, 2005

Butterfly Bounty

The annual arrival of monarch butterflies peaked in the forests of central Mexico, where environmental officials said favorable weather may produce a tenfold increase in their number this season. Jose Bernal, director of inspection for Mexico's environmental protection agency, said bitterly cold weather during the 2000-2001 Mexican winter reduced the butterfly population to 28 million. But that number recovered to 93 million the following year, and as many as 200 million of the colorful insects may winter this season in the fir forests of Mexico's Michoacan state. After leaving Mexico in the spring, it takes three or four generations of monarch butterflies to reach eastern Canada and parts of the United States.



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