Nov. 22 - As Monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico's forested mountains in Michoacan, biologists fear droughts in the U.S. and Mexico will affect their numbers. Elly Park reports.
The onset of fall brings a majestic sight to Michoacan in Mexico. The arrival of millions of Monarch butterflies that descend on the 13,000-hectare butterfly reserve. The Monarchs travel thousands of miles to flee the cold winter of Canada and the U.S. to hibernate and reproduce here, in the temperate woods of central Mexico. But this year their numbers could drop, according to Rosendo Caro the director of the reserve. SOUNDBITE: Director of Mexico's Monarch butterfly reserve, Rosendo Caro saying (Spanish) "The butterfly has been affected by the prolonged drought in western U.S. and in Mexico's north east. The drought affects the butterfly because its feeds from wild plants." The annual spectacle draws tourists, scientists and locals alike. And local businesses depend on a thriving butterfly season. SOUNDBITE: Restaurant owner, Concha Castro, saying (Spanish) "When the butterflies come we can make some money and it's a benefit for the other land owners, they get their cut." Many scientists blame extreme weather caused by climate change for the population's decrease. Elly Park, Reuters.