California Monarch Butterfly Population at Lowest Numbers Ever Recorded

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A butterfly feeding on nectar. (Rodney Campbell/flickr)

Conservationists are alarmed at a huge drop in the number of western monarch butterflies that spend the winter in California. Scientists think pesticides, habitat loss, and fewer native plants -- like milkweed where the monarch lays eggs -- are causing the more than 95 percent decline since the 1980’s. We’ll hear why this colorful butterfly is crucial to our ecosystem, and what can be done to help bring up the population.

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Emma Pelton, conservation biologist and western monarch lead, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

Liam O'Brien, lepidopterist, conservationist and illustrator