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The Endangered Migration of Monarch Butterflies

Nature Conservancy talk will examine the plight of monarch butterflies and explore possible conservation solutions

WHEN: Thursday, May 15 at 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Cazenovia Public Library, 100 Albany St. Cazenovia, NY

Syracuse, NY | May 08, 2014

On Thursday May 15 at 7:00 p.m., The Nature Conservancy will present a lecture by Dr. Ernest Williams, a biologist at Hamilton College, on the threatened migration of the monarch butterfly. Monarch numbers have plummeted in the past 15 years—by as much as 81 percent between 1999 and 2010. This year’s monarch migration area was the smallest in 20 years.

What are the causes of this downward population trend? What exciting conservation initiatives are underway to counter the decline? Dr. Williams will examine these questions and discuss how the monarch’s struggle for survival mirrors that of other butterfly species in our region. Jim Howe, The Nature Conservancy’s director in Central & Western New York, will also share how conservation initiatives can help butterfly populations.

A biologist at Hamilton College for the past 30 years, Dr. Williams’ fieldwork has focused on studying monarch butterflies in their Mexican overwintering sites, frosted elfin butterflies in the sandplains of Central New York, and checkerspot butterflies in Rocky Mountain meadows. His books include The Nature Handbook: A Guide to Observing the Great Outdoors. He is also co-author of The Stokes Butterfly Book. Most recently, Williams was featured in a New York Times editorial, "Monarchs Fight for Their Lives", and co-authored a letter with 17 other butterfly experts to President Barack Obama, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking the three leaders to commit to restoring monarch habitat across the continent and to plant milkweed, the monarch caterpillar’s only food source, along its migratory route.

This talk is sponsored by the Central New York Community Foundation and is free and open to the public. To register, please email or call Jan Miller at 585-546-8030 x28.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

Contact information

Kate Frazer
Communications Manager
(339) 222-2014 (mobile)

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