A severe winter storm that swept across the Mexican state of Michoacn in January 2002, has killed as many as 250 million Monarch butterflies on their wintering grounds, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Mexico. Lincoln Brower, a monarch butterfly biologist, estimates that 80 per cent of the El Rosario monarch colony and 74 per cent of the Chincua colony could have died as a result of the severe climate conditions. "Ironically, the high mortality has coincided with an exceptionally high number of monarchs migrating," said Juan Bezaury Creel, the director of WWF's Mexico programme office (www.ens.com , February 14, 2002).
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