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U of M Expert Makes Plea for Monarch Butterflies

Created: 01/30/2014 10:25 AM WDIO.com

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A University of Minnesota researcher is sounding the alarm about the all-time-low number of monarch butterflies hibernating in Mexico.

Karen Oberhauser was one of several experts making an urgent plea in Mexico City on Wednesday for North American leaders to take immediate action to protect the annual migration of millions of monarchs.

She says Mexico, the United States and Canada must ensure that sufficient high quality habitat is available on the monarchs' wintering grounds, and that sufficient breeding and migration habitat is available in all three countries.

Oberhauser and the other experts blamed the extermination of milkweed from farm country by the heavy use of weed killers used on herbicide-resistant crops, urban sprawl, extreme weather trends, and the dramatic reduction of the butterflies' habitat in Mexico due to illegal logging.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

AP Photo/Toby Talbot, file

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