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.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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