Will Climate Change Depose Monarchs? Model predicts too-wet winter refuges

12:46pm, November 12, 2003

A computer analysis suggests that climate change could ruin the current Mexican overwintering sites for monarch butterflies and perhaps wipe out the insect's populations in eastern North America.

While monarchs that summer in the western United States and Canada gather each autumn by the tens of thousands at spots along the California coast, east of the Rocky Mountains, monarchs head toward Mexico. Some 200 million of these butterflies flee cold weather to bask on about a dozen tree-covered mountain slopes in Mexico, explains Karen Oberhauser of the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis St. Paul.

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