Learn from Butterflies
More Land is Needed
land was put aside to protect the monarchs in 1986,
the biological needs of the over-wintering butterflies were not well
understood. It took many years of study to realize that, during the
dry season, the monarchs move to lower elevations where there is water.
time, scientists realized that the monarchs were moving beyond the sanctuary
boundaries. The land the butterflies needed during the dry season was
not protected for them.
Lincoln Brower explains, "One important goal of the newly established
sanctuary boundaries (November,
2000) was to protect the watershed for the monarchs at this time
of year. On sunny days, as winter advances, butterflies fly out of their
colonies down-stream for up to 1 km to drink. This enables the butterflies
to restore their water balance as the dry season advances. The new sanctuary
boundaries take this biological need into account."
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