Public asked to report monarch butterfly sightings in the south, including Florida and Georgia

Public asked to report monarch butterfly sightings in the south, including Florida and Georgia

Atlanta The researchers called on the public to report monarch butterfly sightings in eight southern and Gulf countries to try to better understand the insect’s migration and wintering behavior.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced the efforts Thursday. Scientists want to hear about sightings from December 1 to March 1 in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Feedback should be reported on tripnorth.org.

The information may aid conservation efforts by determining if butterflies can spend the winter as non-breeding adults in the southern United States, Sonia Altizer, an environmental professor at the University of Georgia, said in a press release.

It could also shed light on how breeding during winter affects the annual butterfly migration to Mexico.

The king’s population has decreased significantly over the past two decades. Last year, the insect became a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act.

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Kings in the eastern United States and Canada generally stream through the south on their way to the winter regions of central Mexico. Then they return in the spring to breed. But similar reporting efforts last winter led to more than 5,800 observations of monarch butterflies in the southern and Gulf states, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

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