By: Rebecca E. Hirsch
I love butterflies and bees so I was very excited to see this new book about Monarch butterflies. THE MONARCHS ARE MISSING addresses two different Monarch mysteries. For many years scientists wondered where the Eastern monarchs went during the winter. In 1975 the first mystery was solved. The monarchs spent their winters in Mexico clustered on oyamel trees. The bigger mystery that needs solving now is why has the monarch population declined in the past 20 years? Scientists point to a number of possible causes: reduced habitats in Mexico, use of herbicides and pesticides, increases in diseases, declines in milkweed and wildflowers along flight paths, and other various reasons. The good news is that monarchs can bounce back fairly quickly because they lay many eggs. The author lists ways in which citizen scientists, and children can participate in studies and create monarch habitats. An index describes how to become a citizen scientist and how to plant a butterfly garden. This is a very interesting read for children ages 9-14 who are concerned about the plight of the monarch butterfly.