The Troubles and Mysteries of the Western Monarch Butterfly

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

The Western monarch butterfly population has fallen by 99% since the 1980’s largely due to pesticide use and habitat loss.  And the butterflies that have survived are changing their behavior in unexpected ways, remaining in the Bay Area over the winter instead of heading to the California coast from October to March.  In response, conservation groups like Oakland’s Pollinator Posse are working to restore habitats by planting native milkweed. We’ll discuss why important pollinators are disappearing and what can be done about it. 



Terry Smith, cofounder, Pollinator Posse

Angela Laws, endangered species conservation biologist, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

Arthur Shapiro, professor of evolution and ecology, UC Davis