Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Play

The American Rescue Plan could provide essential training to boost jobs in construction, and we explore a trauma-informed approach to preventing marijuana use in teens.

Play

Pfizer says its vaccine is safe for children ages 5 to 11, travel restrictions soon will ease for vaccinated international visitors to the U.S., and a Texas doctor who performed an abortion under new restrictions is sued.

Play

Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Western Monarch Butterfly Winter Count Down 99.9%

Play

Tuesday, February 2, 2021   

PISMO BEACH, Calif. -- The Western Monarch butterfly population that overwinters in California has dropped to devastating levels, with only 1,914 individuals spotted in this year's winter count.

They've been declining for decades, but experts say they may have reached an extinction threshold in 2018 when volunteers only counted 30,000.

Angela Laws, endangered-species conservation biologist for the Xerces Society, said the population appears to be collapsing.

"It's a 99.9% drop from the '80s, when there were an estimated four million monarchs overwintering along the California coast," Laws outlined. "It's a big drop in their population. It's very worrying."

She noted reasons for the stark decline include loss of native milkweed habitat, pesticide use, development at their overwintering sites and climate change.

The Western population tends to return each winter along the California coast, from San Diego to Mendocino counties, with a particular concentration near Pismo Beach.

Deedee Soto, farm-bill pollinator conservation planner for the Xerces Society, works with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to help farmers and ranchers plant pollinator habitat on their land, mostly native milkweed and nectar plants.

"The rangelands are particularly important for monarchs because the habitat is more so protected from these heavily developed areas and areas where there's a lot of pesticide use and some habitat degradation," Soto explained.

People can help the effort to save the monarchs by reducing pesticide use in their yards and planting monarch-friendly plants.

For tips, check out savewesternmonarchs.org.

In addition, the Endangered Species Coalition is asking supporters to write letters to Congress urging lawmakers to pass the Monarch Act, a bill which would provide funding for projects to save the species.


get more stories like this via email

Food prices are rising nationwide, and the cost of a grocery store trip is up 3.5% from a year ago, according to a USDA report. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

RALEIGH, N.C. -- More than $1 million in COVID-19 relief grants are helping rural organizations increase their focus on locally sourced food relief…


Environment

DES MOINES, Iowa -- This fall, the Iowa Utilities Board is hosting meetings to inform the public about a proposed underground pipeline, which would …

Social Issues

MANDAN, N.D. -- North Dakota has had nearly 18,000 job openings in recent months, with roughly 1,000 in construction. A labor leader in the trades …


Approximately 3% of the 1,500 students in Montgomery County who were screened for behavioral health indicators were found to be at risk of substance use. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

DAYTON, Ohio -- An Ohio county is taking a trauma-informed approach to its work on preventing marijuana use in teens. As marijuana policy changes …

Social Issues

DENVER -- As Congress considers making significant investments in the nation's child-care system, children's advocates say now is the time to make …

More than 80% of Nevada is public land owned by the federal government, which is charged with managing it for the public's benefit. (Kurt Kuznicki)

Environment

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Admission to any state park in Nevada is free this coming Saturday, as part of the first Nevada Public Lands Week - with a series …

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new Redistricting Advisory Council announced last week by Gov. Tom Wolf's office will focus on reducing gerrymandering as new …

Environment

DULUTH, Minn. - As Minnesota looks to address the impact of climate change on the region, land managers and policymakers are reminded of the role …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021