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One Planet: Climate Change Is Causing Western Butterfly Populations To Rapidly Decline

Bernard Spragg

On this edition of Your Call’s One Planet Series, we are rebroadcasting our discussion about the impact of climate change on butterfly populations. According to a new study published in the journal Science, over the past four decades, more than 450 butterfly species have declined at an average rate of nearly two percent a year.

The western monarch’s population has dropped by 99.9 percent since the 1980s. What can we do to save butterflies?


Matt Forister, Trevor J. McMinn Endowed Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Nevada

Arthur Shapiro, Distinguished Professor of Evolution and Ecology at the University of California, Davis

Web Resources:

Science: Butterflies are vanishing in the western U.S.—but not for the reasons scientists thought

The Washington Post: Butterflies are vanishing out West. Scientists say climate change is to blame.

National Geographic: 450 butterfly species rapidly declining due to warmer autumns in the western U.S.

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.
Malihe Razazan is the senior producer of KALW's daily call-in program, Your Call.