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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Citizen Science and Monarchs on the Move

Monarch View.pngHundreds of 'citizen scientists' contributed recently to valuable research about monarch butterflies. Some monarch butterflies have become permanent residents of Florida, where it is typically warm enough to survive the winter. While this seems like an easier lifestyle, it appears that these butterflies may be healthier if they flew the long distances into central Mexico for the winter like their northern cousins. In a new study, University of Minnesota researcher, Karen Oberhauser, and three colleagues analyzed data about monarch butterflies, collected by citizen scientists across the country. Results showed that long migrations tend to rid butterfly populations of parasites. For more information, read Keeping monarchs on the move.

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