April 29, 2019
Butterflies are one of nature's most beautiful and delicate creations. Unfortunately, like many species, the survival of several varieties of butterfly are threatened by pollution, the destruction of habitat and other factors.
It is estimated that there will be as many as 22 million fewer monarch butterflies this year.
So let's learn a little about these beautiful, useful and irreplaceable creatures.
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Today's Random Fact:
Butterflies are a long-standing part of the earth's environmental fabric, with butterfly fossils dating back as far as 40-50 million years ago.
Butterflies are sensitive to pesticides and habitat loss, both of which have been driving a decline in butterfly populations. Some of the most successful butterflies eat agricultural products that man has modified.
In addition to their physical beauty, butterflies act as one of nature's couriers. In the case of Monarch butterflies, which pollinate milkweed, they may transfer a pollen sac to the next plant on their legs or other body parts.
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Millions of Monarch butterflies, which reside in the Northeast in the summer, make a 2,000-mile migration down to Mexico for the winter months. After congregating there, they'll mate and new generations will make the return trip back north in the warmer months.
Monarchs are toxic and in fact, some butterfly species such as the Viceroy play on that feature by mimicking the signature bright orange and black coloring of Monarchs to discourage birds from eating them.