Public asked to report monarch butterfly sightings in South

State - Regional

A Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is seen Feb. 3, 2020, at the Sanctuary of El Rosario, Ocampo municipality, in the Mexican state of Michoacan, the ancestral homelands where they annually migrate. (Photo by ENRIQUE CASTRO/AFP via Getty Images)

ATLANTA (AP) — Researchers are calling on the public to report monarch butterfly sightings in the Carolinas and six other states.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced the effort on Thursday. Scientists want to hear about sightings from Dec. 1 to March 1 in the Carolinas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

The observations should be reported at journeynorth.org.

Researchers say the information may help conservation efforts by determining if the butterflies can spend the winter as non-breeding adults in the southern U.S. Monarch populations have declined significantly over the past two decades.

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