A harsh winter storm has hit the world’s largest butterfly sanctuary in southern Mexico, killing upwards of 1.5 million monarch butterflies, ahead of their annual migration north. The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a designated World Heritage Site, has a comparatively cool climate due to it’s 2,700-meter (8,860-foot) elevation, typically seeing winter temperatures near the freezing mark, however this storm dropped temperatures to -12ºC (10.5ºF) and left up to a foot of snow in some areas.
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It’s hard to believe, but true: the demise of a tall, willowy plant called the glacier lily, that grows in mountain meadows throughout western North America, could mean the end of hummingbirds. It flowers early in spring, when the first bumblebees and hummingbirds appear–or it did, anyway. In Earth’s warming temperatures, its first blooms appear around 17 days earlier than they did in the 1970s. By the time the hummingbirds fly in, many of the flowers have withered away, their nectar-laden blooms going with them.
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It’s about time for people in the Northern climes to say goodbye to the butterflies for the winter. How do these delicate creatures manage to migrate such long distances? It turns out they have a G.P.S. in their antennae.

Every fall about 100 million Monarch butterflies migrate to the south. On BBC News, Judith Burns quote researchers as saying, “North America’s Monarch butterflies use a 24-hour ‘clock’ in their antennae to help navigate the [incredible distance] to overwinter in Mexico.” This “clock” is located in their antennae, not in their brain.

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People are immigrants but insects are too, and the incredible annual journey of Monarch butterflies seems insignificant compared to the amazing migration of these little insects!

Every year, millions of dragonflies fly thousands of miles across the ocean from India to Africa. It’s the longest migration of any insect. Monarchs fly about half this distance.

Since they’re so small, and not as colorful as butterflies, we hardly noticed this incredible migration, but the people in the Maldives Islands do, because that’s where they land. Since the Maldives may soon be underwater, this may also be the end of these courageous insects.
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