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Published January 31, 2014, 05:15 PM

We may be seeing less and less Monarch butterflies in North Dakota this summer

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - One incentive for making it through a rough North Dakota winter is the beautiful Monarch butterflies that arrive in the summer. But, they may be a thing of the past.

By: WDAY Staff Reports , WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - One incentive for making it through a rough North Dakota winter is the beautiful Monarch butterflies that arrive in the summer. But, they may be a thing of the past.

Local experts say colder winters in the US and illegal logging of Mexico's forest are bringing drastic change to the Monarch population.

The Monarch currently covers just over one and a half acres of forest in Mexico, a drop from 3 acres last year, and 44 acres at their peak in 1996.

It means fewer Monarchs will come north this summer.

Dr. Jerry Fauske/NDSU Dept. of Entomology: “When I was a kid there's a field near where I grew up where you'd go out in August and you would see hundreds of them. You could look up and see thousands overhead. You don't see that now."

Experts say another factor: genetically modified crops, which have displaced the milkweed plant the Monarch's food source.

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