Coffee Break: Butterflies

Monarch butterflies
These monarch butterflies were photographed in Brookings County, S.D., by USDA entomologist Jonathan Lundgren in 2014. (Courtesy Jonathan Lundgren / USDA)

Western monarch butterflies love to winter along the California coast, and there was a time when tens of thousands of could be found there, clustering to stay warm in their favorite trees.

Last week, researchers announced that their annual winter count yielded less than 2,000 monarch butterflies. And this is not just a western issue - in the eastern states, scientists have reported an 80% dip in the population since the mid-1990s.

Why is this happening? Climate change, an increase in pesticides and herbicides, and destruction of milkweed due to housing developments. SAD! If you want to help, you can plant early-blooming flowers and milkweed.

And in the meantime...

What butterfly songs do you want to hear for today's 9:30 Coffee Break?

Respond with your song ideas in the comments below.

Have an idea for a Coffee Break topic? Submit your idea for a future theme and browse past Coffee Breaks in our archive.

Songs played

Dolly Parton - Love Is Like A Butterfly
The Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Sonic Youth - Drunken Butterfly
Prince - Why The Butterflies
The Verve - Catching The Butterfly
Bob Lind - Elusive Butterfly
Muse - Butterflies and Hurricanes


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