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Monarch Butterflies

photograph from Nature story

(before 2003)

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One of the last sites of the monarch butterfly may soon be gone. The site is in Pacific Grove, California. That town calls itself Butterfly U.S.A.

In this town, one woman owns some land that the butterflies like to live on. She wants to sell her land to people who want to build homes. The city does not want her to sell because the butterflies will not have a home.

The city would like to make the land a place just for butterflies. It cannot do this because it cannot afford to buy the land.

Millions of butterflies have followed the same paths for thousands of years. They start their trip in Mexico and return to the same trees in California. They come to Pacific Grove to stay warm.

The female butterflies need the plants there to lay their eggs. Thousands of butterflies land on the local trees.

The monarch butterfly is the Pacific Grove city mascot. Many people come to the city each year to see them. The money these people bring is very important for the town. Some people say that more butterflies used to come. Not as many come now. Many people think that all of the new buildings take the butterfly homes away. If their nests are destroyed, all of the monarch butterfly could be killed.

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