Transcript: Climate Watch Shorts: The monarch butterfly's decline | May 09, 2017

(music plays)

A black spinning globe appears next to the caption "TVO Climate Change Shorts."

A caption reads "Nam Kiwanuka. Climate Watch Shorts host."

Nam has curly brown hair and wears glasses, a blue top, a black jacket and a long printed orange scarf.

She says WELCOME TO
CLIMATE
WATCH SHORTS
WHERE WE EXAMINE THE LOCAL
IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE.
THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY
POPULATION HAS BEEN
DECREASING OVER
THE PAST 20 YEARS.
THEY FACE HAZARDS FROM
THE LOSS OF HABITAT
TO SEVERE STORMS DUE
TO CLIMATE CHANGE.
WE VISIT THE CAMBRIDGE
BUTTERFLY CONSERVATORY
TO FIND OUT MORE.

(music plays)

A clip shows a black and yellow butterfly with white spots.

Jennifer says MONARCH
BUTTERFLIES ARE THE ONLY
BUTTERFLY THAT MIGRATES DOWN
TO MEXICO AND THEN IT'S THE
GREAT GREAT GRANDCHILDREN
THAT RETURN TO OUR BACKYARDS
THE FOLLOWING SUMMER.
NO OTHER BUTTERFLY, NO
OTHER INSECT HAS THAT
KIND OF MIGRATION.
AND WE'RE AT RISK OF
LOSING THAT MIGRATION.

A map of North America shows the migration directions.

Jennifer says MONARCH BUTTERFLIES ARE NOT
LIKELY TO BECOME EXTINCT,
HOWEVER WE MIGHT NOT HAVE
THAT MIGRATORY PHENOMENON
WHICH IS UNIQUE TO
NORTH AMERICA,
UNIQUE TO THE MONARCH
BUTTERFLY AND REALLY NEEDS
TO BE PRESERVED.
THERE'S LOTS OF CULTURAL
SIGNIFICANCE TO THE MONARCHS
ARRIVING IN MEXICO, AS
WELL AS THE ENVIRONMENTAL
WORK THAT THE MONARCH
BUTTERFLY DOES.
SO THEY DESERVE
TO BE PROTECTED.
WE'VE GOT BETWEEN 50 TO
60 DIFFERENT SPECIES,
ABOUT 2,000 BUTTERFLIES
THAT FLY AROUND
IN OUR CONSERVATORY.

Clips show images of the butterfly conservatory.

A caption reads "Jennifer Tremeer. Education co-ordinator, Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory."

Jennifer is in her thirties, with mid-length slightly wavy brown hair with bangs. She wears a beige uniform.

She says THE MONARCH BUTTERFLIES
ARE JUST AN EXAMPLE OF
ONE SPECIES OF MANY
INSECTS THAT ARE AFFECTED
BY CLIMATE CHANGE.
JUST IN CANADA ALONE
WE'VE GOT OVER A THOUSAND
SPECIES OF POLLINATING INSECTS,
AND ALL THOSE ARE FACING
PRESSURE FROM CLIMATE
CHANGE AS WELL.
THE GENERAL TREND FOR
MONARCH BUTTERFLIES
OVER THE LAST TWENTY YEARS
HAS DEFINITELY BEEN A
DECREASE IN THEIR POPULATION.

A bar graph shows the decrease in population with a caption that reads "Total area occupied by monarch colonies at overwintering sites in Mexico."

Jennifer says POPULATION IS MEASURED
BY GOING DOWN TO MEXICO
EVERY YEAR AND MEASURING
HOW MUCH SPACE THE
BUTTERFLIES ARE ROOSTING
ON OVER THE WINTER GROUNDS.
AND THAT TREND HAS DEFINITELY
GOTTEN SMALLER OVER THE LAST
TWENTY YEARS.
JUST A COUPLE YEARS AGO,
2013-2014, MONARCHS
WERE ESTIMATED TO OCCUPY
LESS THAN .67 HECTARES
OF SPACE.
SO TO SCHOOL CHILDREN,
RELATED TO THEM,
ALL THE MONARCH BUTTERFLIES
ON THE EAST SIDE OF
NORTH AMERICA ARE RESTING
IN A SPOT ABOUT THE
SIZE OF YOUR SCHOOLYARD.
THAT'S NOT REALLY
A LOT OF SPACE FOR
A VERY UNIQUE AND
SPECIAL BUTTERFLY.
THANKFULLY, WE'VE SEEN A
LITTLE BIT OF IMPROVEMENT.
LAST YEAR'S NUMBERS
WERE A LITTLE BIT BETTER
AT ABOUT 4 HECTARES.
UNFORTUNATELY, SHORTLY AFTER
THAT NUMBER WAS RELEASED
THERE WAS ONE OF THESE
SPECIFIC STORMS THAT
COULD BE ATTRIBUTED TO
CLIMATE CHANGE CAME
AND KILLED OFF A SUBSTANTIAL
PART OF THE POPULATION.
THIS YEAR'S NUMBERS ARE
ABOUT 2.9 HECTARES OF SPACE,
WHICH IS DOWN
FROM LAST YEAR'S.
SO THEY'RE A REALLY
SUSCEPTIBLE POPULATION.
IT DOESN'T TAKE MUCH
TO IMPACT A LARGE NUMBER
OF BUTTERFLIES AND TO IMPACT
THAT ENTIRE POPULATION.
IT'S ESTIMATED WE NEED AN
OVER WINTERING POPULATION
OF ABOUT 6 HECTARES
TO BE CONSIDERED A
SUSTAINABLE POPULATION.
SO WE'RE STILL A
WAYS AWAY FROM THAT.
EVERYBODY CAN HELP THE
MONARCH BUTTERFLIES.
IT'S SIMPLE, IT'S FUN.
PLANTING A BUTTERFLY
GARDEN DOESN'T HAVE TO
TAKE A LOT OF WORK.
IT DOESN'T REQUIRE
A LOT OF SPACE.
IF YOU'VE GOT A LOT
OF SPACE, GREAT,
BUT YOU CAN START SMALL.
PLANT THE PLANTS THEY
NEED TO LAY THEIR EGGS ON.
SO FOR MONARCHS YOU NEED
TO PLANT THE MILKWEED PLANT,
WHICH IS READILY AVAILABLE
AT GARDEN CENTRES.
IT'S A FUN THING THAT
PEOPLE OF ALL AGES
CAN PARTICIPATE IN.
SO IT'S REALLY EASY TO HELP
THE MONARCH BUTTERFLIES,
AND THEY REALLY
DO NEED OUR HELP.
AND BY HELPING THE MONARCHS
WE'RE ALSO HELPING
OTHER POLLINATORS,
WHICH WILL EFFECT
ALL OF OUR HEALTH.

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Watch: Climate Watch Shorts: The monarch butterfly's decline