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Monarch Butterflies in the News

Monarch Butterflies are often in the news. Here’s a time capsule of Monarch Butterfly facts that have made headlines in the past twenty years.

How were these headlines chosen? Often several news sites report the same event; when comparisons were possible we’ve chosen the links to what seemed to be the most complete and best illustrated reports.

The most common headlines for butterfly news stories report that local population counts are higher or lower than last year’s. One scientist’s blog complained that these reports were blurring the “big picture" of Monarch Butterfly populations decreasing. While fluctuations among California and Mexico butterfly grove counts have led to studies confirming that Eastern and Western Monarch Butterflies may meet during migration, and population increases at specific hibernation sites are good news for local tourism, overall the population of Danaus plexippusis still much lower than it was in the twentieth century. Only a small sampling of local population reports is given below. Typing “monarch butterfly news" and a year into a search engine will pull up many more. As you may already know, many news sites, including ScienceMag and WashingtonPost, will display only a few articles before demanding that you subscribe to the newspaper or magazine.

In California news, the city of Goleta has reopened the popular Ellwood Mesa Monarch Butterfly Grove Park to the public, while warning that some of the eucalyptus trees could still become hazards on the hiking trail. For status updates, “butterfly tourists" should visit

  • 64 Pesticide Residues Identified in Western Milkweed

  • US Fish & Wildlife Service Urges Americans to Plant Monarch Butterfly Gardens

  • Illinois Monarch Butterflies Win “Candidate Conservation Agreement"

  • Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Count Remains Low

  • Eastern Monarch Butterfly Count Decreases by 53%

  • Two Monarch Butterfly Conservationists Found Dead in Mexico

  • Migrating Monarch Butterflies May Meet

  • Goleta’s Ellwood Mesa Monarch Butterfly Grove Park Reopens

  • Arizona Volunteers Plant Milkweed

  • Casualties of Monarch Butterfly Migration at Lake Michigan

  • Eastern Monarch Butterfly Populations High in Fall 2019

  • Cage-Reared Monarch Butterflies May Fail to Migrate

  • Monarch Butterfly from Minnesota Found in Mexico

  • California Monarch Butterfly Population Decreased by 86%, 2017-2019

  • Migrating Monarchs Face Increased Risk of Parasitic Infections

  • Monarch Butterfly Expert Dies, Age 86

  • Researchers Learn How Carbon Dioxide Threatens Monarch Butterflies

  • Florida Monarch Butterfly Count Declined 80%, 2005-2018

  • Monarch Butterflies Migrate Late in 2017

  • Groups Demand Federal Money to Save Monarch Butterflies

  • San Antonio Commits to Help Monarch Butterflies

  • Study Blames “Roundup" (Glyphosate) for Monarch Butterfly Deaths

  • Estimated 1.5 Million Monarch Butterflies Killed by Ice Storm in Michoacán

  • Monarch Butterfly Population in Mexico Resurges After Declines

  • Tropical Milkweed Increases Infection Risk for Monarch Butterflies

  • 975 Million Butterflies Have Vanished

  • Laura Bush Announces Monarch Butterfly Conservation Plan

  • Monarch Butterflies Use Magnetic Compass to Migrate

  • Surveyed Citizens Say US Should Spend 5-6 Billion Dollars to Protect Monarch Butterflies

  • US, Canadian, and Mexican Leaders Agree to Form Working Group to Conserve Monarch Butterflies

  • Monarch Butterfly Population Hit Record Low

  • Temperatures Prompt Northward Migration of Monarch Butterflies

  • If Ladybird Beetles Aren’t Eating Them, You Can Kill Milkweed Aphids Without Killing Monarch Butterfly Eggs

  • Flight of the Butterflies Movie Released

  • Drought Threatens Midwestern Monarch Butterflies

  • Weather Complicates Monarch Butterflies’ Migration Through Texas

  • Monarch Butterflies Learn Color Cues to Find Food

  • Monarch Butterflies Suffer Population Losses

  • Monarchs get Radio Tags 

  • Monarch Caterpillars Going on Space Mission 

  • Deal Provides Safety Net for Monarch Butterflies

  • Stemming the Decline of Monarchs 

  • Habitat Destruction May Wipe Out Monarch Butterfly Migration

  • Monarch Butterflies to Be Protected From Illegal Logging

  • Loggers Invaded Butterfly Haven, Photos Show

  • Million Dollar Scheme to Save Mexico's Butterflies

  • Monarch butterfly protection failing, expert says

  • Mexico Vows to Protect Monarch Butterfly

  • 2006 Monarch Population Largest Watchers have seen in 10 Years

  • Climate Change May Endanger Monarchs

  • Changing Climate May Leave Wintering Monarchs Out in the Cold

  • How Monarchs Make Their Way to Mexico

  • Monarch Butterflies Suffer Population Losses

  • Climate Change Linked To Monarch Butterflies Emerging Earlier

  • Monarch butterfly numbers are so low that a couple of bad storms or freezing weather at the wrong time could wipe them out, groups contend.

  • 3 countries are participating in summits to protect monarchs declining populations of 1 billion to 33 million winter of 2013.

  • Butterfly News Reports in Spanish

    Sometimes news about Monarch Butterfly tourism, festivals, and events at the Reserva de la Biosfera Mariposa Monarca (Biosphere Reserve) is published in US-based newspapers, in English. More news is available in Spanish language newspapers and news sites based in Mexico. The Spanish news stories linked below are not translations of the English ones above; they contain additional information. Only a few newspapers are printed in both English and Spanish. However, many computer browsers, like Google Chrome, offer automatic translation between Spanish and English. If you are reading this page in Mexico, you may already be reading it in Spanish. If you follow the links below in the US or Canada, where this page appears in English, some of the news articles may open in Spanish, but you may be able to click on a button to get a computer translation into English.

  • Fire in El Cacique did not destroy Monarch Butterfly habitat

  • Monarch butterflies migrate, though Butterfly Festival is suspended

  • Climate change, unauthorized logging, and other factors endanger Monarch Butterfly populations in Mexico, but talking about unauthorized logging may be dangerous

  • Obituary for Homero Gómez, butterfly defender who denounced unauthorized logging as a cause of damage to Monarch Butterfly habitat, found dead in January 2020

  • How Michoacán prepares to welcome Monarch Butterflies and Monarch Butterfly tourism

  • New Monarch Butterfly colony found near extinct volcano Nevado de Toluca

  • Plans for Monarch Butterfly Festival, March 2019

  • Citizens track the arrival of migrating Monarch Butterflies in Mexico

  • Monarch Butterfly hibernation sites expand

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