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Butterfly Numbers Decline for Monarch Watch Event

monarchMonarch butterfly (Photo credit:

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — There were fewer monarch butterflies found during an annual event aimed at tracking their migration through Kansas. Chip Taylor, director of the University of Kansas-based Monarch Watch conservation group, told The Lawrence Journal World that this summer's drought meant a much smaller population of monarchs at Saturday's event at the Baker Wetlands. Monarch Watch organizes the tagging to track migration through the U.S. and into Mexico for the winter. This is the group's 21st year of tagging, and it's been inviting the public to take part. Taylor says this year's monarch population was the smallest he'd seen in northeast Kansas. Consistently dry conditions led to fewer flowering plants and milkweed, which the butterflies need to survive. Taylor says, however, the nation's northeast coast population...which is normally doing well.

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