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Monarch (Danaus plexippus) (2011-10-06 12-41-14a)

Monarchs used to be a lot more common than they are now, even in the recent past. I remember seeing a tree outside my college dorm room covered with thousands of them and that was in the fall of 1971, not that long ago. In the 1980s I remember waiting for a bus and seeing a couple of hundred of them flying southwest on their way to their wintering grounds in Mexico and that was in about a fifteen minute period.

One of the biggest reasons for their decline is the loss of their winter grounds in Mexico. Every year the Monarchs fly from wherever they are in the USA and Canada and go to Mexico. These would then return north the following spring. However, without a place to over-winter, they die.

It’s easy to blame the people for destroying the habitat but don’t they also have a right to grow the food they need to survive? They are not being malicious, they only want to care for their families. Solutions will not come easy.

The photo was taken at Montrose Point in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois. It is a natural are in the middle of chicago which used to house an ICBM missle site. I used a Panasonic FZ50 with a Minolta #0 (+0.95) multi-element close-up lens. For post-procesing I used ACDSee Ultimate 9.3 to adjust the lighting and boost contrast, vibrance and saturation.

Order Lepidoptera : Family Nymphalidae : Tribe Danaini : Danaus plexippus

Photo © 2011 Gary J. Sibio. All rights reserved.

Text © 2017 Gary J. Sibio. All rights reserved.

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Written by Gary J Sibio

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