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Experts Believe Fewer Monarchs Through South Texas

Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013  |  Updated 2:26 PM CDT
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Fewer Monarchs Expected in S. Texas

Scott Quillin

This photo is a little over a week old, it was taken in my back yard, its been a very long time I have seen a monarch butterfly in Texas, and I had two in the back yard (plus a black one, not sure what kind it was) and they stayed for several hours fueling up on the flowers before they moved on south. Scott Quillin - photo taken in Princeton Texas.

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Fewer monarch butterflies could be flying through Texas while migrating to Mexico due to the lingering drought and lack of food along the way.

The Victoria Advocate reports

some monarch butterflies have been spotted this week in South Texas making their journey from Canada.

Paul Meredith, a Victoria master naturalist and entomology specialist, said Monday that drought conditions since 2011 in Texas and farther north have affected butterfly numbers. He says monarch butterflies also feed on milkweed that may have been killed due to farming practices.

Meredith expects about 60 million monarchs to reach Mexico this year, about a fifth of the number that usually migrate.

A September monarch tagging event in Dubuque, Iowa, yielded no butterflies. Experts cited drought and flooding, plus tornadoes that disrupted migratory paths.

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