Deforestation in Mexico may ruin the fascinating migration of the beautiful monarch butterfly, according to a University of Kansas researcher. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Professor Chip Taylor says the 3,000 mile migration could rapidly come to an end, unless something is done to stop the destruction of the butterfly's source of food and shelter.
Taylor is in charge of KU's Monarch Watch, which studies research, conservation and education about the monarchs. The group checks a 217 square mile reserve in Mexico that serves as the winter home for millions of migrating butterflies from all over North America. Taylor says soaring lumber prices have led to illegal clear-cutting south of the border. He blames the practice in Mexico for millions of monarchs dying from exposure over the past two years.