Monarch winter habitat threatened

The mysterious Monarch butterfly, which migrates en masse annually between Canada and Mexico, is now facing a new peril: another insect thriving in Western Mexican forests.

Some 8,000 oyamel fir trees — the butterflies’ unique mountain habitat each winter — were cut down in July in a bid to remove beetles that threaten the Monarch’s ages-old migration.

But now another small beetle has since taken to devouring the savory tree trunks, further endangering the butterflies’ winter colonies.

“We are working to determine how many trees have been affected,” said Homero Gomez, president of El Rosario Sanctuary, a premier migrating spot for the Monarch in the western Mexican state of Michoacan.

read more Tree eating bugs threaten Monarch butterfly in Mexico