By Paul Woodward
Yale Environment 360: University of Kansas insect ecologist Orley R. “Chip” Taylor has been observing the fragile populations of monarch butterflies for decades, but he says he has never been more concerned about their future.
Monarchs are beloved for their spectacular migration across Canada and the United States to overwintering sites in central Mexico — and back again. But a new census taken at the monarchs’ wintering grounds found their population had declined 59 percent over the previous year and was at the lowest level ever measured.
In an interview with Yale Environment 360 contributor Richard Conniff, Taylor — founder and director of Monarch Watch, a conservation and outreach program — talked about the factors that have led to the sharp drop in the monarch population. Among them, Taylor said, is the increased planting of genetically modified corn in the U.S. Midwest, which has led to…
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