Heat cutting down on butterflies, food source - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Heat cutting down on butterflies, food source

 

KINGSVILLE, Mo. (AP) - Ecologists in Kansas and Missouri say extreme temperatures are killing a large number of butterflies and could hurt their southern migration next month.

Millions of monarch butterflies are expected to migrate south through the two states in less than a month in their seasonal trip from Canada to Mexico.

KSHB-TV reports the Powell Botanical Gardens annual butterfly festival east of Kansas City is seeing the lowest number of monarchs in a decade.

University of Kansas Monarch Watch director Chip Taylor says flowers that should bloom in the fall already are finished blooming, which could be a problem for butterflies that need the plants' nectar for their journey.

Horticulturists say fewer butterflies also could mean fewer birds, bees and flowers as the drought continues.

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