Monarch butterflies released by Toledo Zoo found in Mexico

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Nine monarch butterflies released by the Toledo Zoo have been found in central Mexico.

The zoo says the discovery supports its belief that its captive-breeding program works.

Monarch researchers have said mass releases may lead to disease and accelerate the butterfly’s decline. But zoo officials tell The Blade ( ) newspaper dozens of monarchs released last fall likely survived.

Experts said last month the butterflies have made a big comeback in their Mexico wintering grounds after suffering serious declines.

The area covered by the orange-and-black insects in the mountains west of Mexico City this season was more than three and a half times greater than last winter.

The number of monarchs making the 3,400-mile migration from the United States and Canada steadily declined in recent years before recovering in 2014.


Information from: The Blade,