Little monarchs, little monarchs, where are your trees?

Your canopy is disappearing, you're likely to freeze.

NASA's Earth Observatory reports that over 1,110 acres of forest were illegally logged, during the past four years, in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in central Mexico.

Monarch butterflies travel here from all over the United States and Canada. Images from the Ikonos satellite tell us though, that future migrating butterflies are likely have problems in this reserve. The top image is from 2004, the bottom image shows what things are like now.

i-e67e97032257877bd5dcc7d23793928d-monarchs_iko_2004-08.jpg
NASA's Earth Observatory

Without the trees to protect them, the butterflies could dehydrate from the increased exposure to the sun or die from the colder temperatures at night.

There's more info here.

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A scanning electron microscope image of a monarch butterfly wing. Since a scanning electron microscope only collects a black and white image (representing intensity of electrons) the image must be colorized with photoshop. The colors are fairly close to the real colors of the wing. The wing is…
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For some reason, I really like this picture.  The version here is reduced in size and quality.  NASA Earth Observatory has an explanation of the photo, along with a better version, and a link to the original, which is a tad over 6 MB in size.   href="http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/…
Genetic Basis For Migration In Monarch Butterflies Uncovered: Scientists studying Eastern North American monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) have uncovered a suite of genes that may be involved in driving the butterflies to migrate towards Mexico for the winter. Their research describes 40 genes…

/me makes an asinine comment about how those butterflies could have saved those loggers from a hurricane sometime in the future...

Please honor my copyright and Creative Commons license:
1) You MUST obtain my permission for commercial use - I consider your site commercial, since you have ad revenue.
2) I require attribution like this "photo by Timothy K. Hamilton" as is stated on my profile page.
3) flickr also requires that there be a link directly back to the photographer when clicking on the photograph.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en

Please accept my apologies, Timothy, for the incomplete citation. You're a wonderful photographer and I did link back to your Flickr page, I'm sorry that I didn't do it correctly.

You are wrong about my receiving ad revenue, however, and sort of wrong about this being a commercial site. None of the ScienceBloggers receive ad revenue. Those ads help support the site and Seed magazine.

I agree, though, the ads do make it hard to know the difference.

Thanks, Sandra.
I've made changes to my screen name so that the attribution appears more automatically.
Thanks for using my photo, and please feel free to use them again, unless you become commercial.