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Strontium isotopes can map monarch butterfly migrations and help conservation efforts

By Megan Reich, PhD candidate, Biology, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa
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The eastern North American population of monarch butterflies are famous for their annual, multi-generational, round-trip migration from the oyamel fir forests of Central Mexico through the United States to Canada and back. Sadly, the population of monarch butterflies is declining, and the future of the monarch migratory phenomenon is uncertain.

Scientists can study migrations by looking at the chemicals stored within the teeth, bones, tusks and wings of animals. In the case of…


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