Environment
9:28 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Drought affecting butterfly population in W. Ky.

A naturalist at Audubon State Park in Henderson is noticing another effect of the high heat and drought that has plagued western Kentucky, a dearth of monarch butterflies.  Julie McDonald says the butterflies are usually migrating through the area to Mexico by now, but she hasn't seen any yet. McDonald says the weather has affected everything that feeds on nectar, including butterflies.  She says the scarcity of monarchs makes it more important for volunteers to participate in a program later this month to catch and tag the insects so that researchers can find out more about them.  Chip Taylor, who is director of the conservation group Monarch Watch, says the number of monarch butterflies was in decline even before the drought.