Monika Maeckle at The Twig Book Shop

The Twig Book Shop 306 Pearl Parkway Suite 106 San Antonio, TX 78215

Monika Maeckle, The Monarch Butterfly Migration: Its Rise and Fall

Each fall, millions of monarch butterflies migrate from Canada to Mexico. Their incredible journey—nearly 3,000 miles long—takes them through Oklahoma, Texas, and other US states, where butterfly devotees eagerly await their arrival. The monarch migration is a brilliant demonstration of nature’s ingenuity, but the delicate creatures face many perils, and the number of migrating monarchs is declining sharply. This compelling book weaves natural history, science, and personal experience to explore the rise and fall of one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena.

While monarch butterflies have been migrating for centuries, they seized public attention in 1976 when a National Geographic magazine cover story featured the “discovery” of their roosting sites in Mexico. The article rocked the world of lepidoptery, solved a scientific mystery, and opened the door to human meddling. The new revelations put a spotlight on the insects, and inspired the creation of butterfly sanctuaries in Mexico as well as myriad efforts to protect them. Almost 40 years later, many believe that monarch butterflies are in danger of extinction. How real is that danger?

Journalist and butterfly advocate Monika Maeckle addresses this question and more as she delves into the rich history and current plight of the monarch butterfly. Through meticulous reporting, Maeckle offers unique insights on the butterflies as well as a nuanced portrait of the shifting and sometimes contentious community of scientists, enthusiasts, and “flutterati” who have emerged to support the monarchs’ cause.

A highly engaging book, The Monarch Butterfly Migration also focuses a wider lens on the effects of climate change and the tensions between advocacy and scientific accuracy. In addition to calling for environmental sustainability, this book reminds each of us to notice—and never take for granted—the natural wonders in our own backyards.

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