19 Mar 2012:
U.S. Monarch Butterfly Decline
May Be Linked to GM Crop Use, Study Says
A new study suggests that the increased use of genetically modified (GM) crops across the Midwestern U.S. may be causing a decline in monarch butterfly populations
. From 1999 to 2010, a period when GM crops
A monarch butterfly
became more common on U.S. farms, the number of monarch eggs in the Midwest declined by 81 percent, according to researchers from the University of Minnesota and Iowa State University. The reason, according to the study, is the near-disappearance of milkweed, an important host plant for monarch eggs and caterpillars. The researchers attribute sharp declines in milkweed to widespread use of genetically modified corn and soybeans that are resistant to the herbicide, Roundup, which is then sprayed on fields, killing milkweed. Other experts say it is too early to link GM crops to population declines, suggesting that other causes, including damage to the butterflies’ wintering grounds in Mexico, may be a factor. In a separate study, U.S. researchers say early snowmelt in the Colorado Rocky Mountains may be causing a decline in populations of the Mormon Fritillary butterfly because the advanced melting is triggering a decline in the insect’s preferred flower species
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
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The 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner documents a Northeastern town's bitter battle over a wind farm. Watch the video.
A 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner captures stunning images of wild salmon runs in Alaska. Watch the video.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
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