Florida study finds monarch butterflies declined 80 percent since 2005

(TBO) Every year thousands of monarch butterflies dance through the air over North Florida, traveling between their winter refuge in Mexico and their regular homes along the U.S. Atlantic coastline. The colorful pageant attracts flocks of tourists who are eager to bear witness to this sprightly migration.

Every year, though, there have been fewer and fewer of the princely insects to see.

A new University of Florida study — at nearly four decades, the longest of its kind — has found that the number of caterpillars and butterflies in North Florida has been declining since 1985.

Since 2005, the numbers have dropped by 80 percent.

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