wild-center-2.JPGTupper Lake, N.Y. - Continuing The Wild Center's focus on the amazing monarch butterfly this year, join Dr. Ernest Williams on Friday, July 19 from 1:00 pm until 2:00pm as he talks about their amazing migration and how humans can support this endangered spectacle.  The remarkable migration of monarch butterflies between eastern North America and central Mexico is an endangered biological phenomenon. Despite the butterflies' high reproductive potential, the migratory population has declined in size over the past 20 years, and losses in both the breeding and overwintering habitats are implicated in this decline. Studies of the dense overwintering aggregations show how the butterflies take advantage of the insulating property of the forest canopy and how cutting of the forest reduces the likelihood of winter survival. The breeding habitat has been degraded, too, by the expansion of herbicide resistant crops and a subsequent decline in the availability of milkweeds. Two citizen groups are taking action to counter the loss of both breeding and overwintering habitats. The reduced population size is not yet apparent here in the Northeast because the abundance of Monarchs we see depends primarily on growing conditions during the spring and summer, but if the downward trend continues, northeastern Monarchs will also decline. A biologist at Hamilton College for the past 30 years, Dr. Ernest Williams studies the population biology and conservation of butterflies. His fieldwork has focused on monarch butterflies at the Mexican overwintering sites, frosted elfin butterflies in central New York sand plains, and checkerspot butterflies in Rocky Mountain meadows. His recent books include The Nature Handbook: A Guide to Observing the Great Outdoors (2005, Oxford University Press), which is a field guide to patterns in nature, and Pathways to Excellence in Teaching (2012, Couper Press), an edited volume of essays about teaching. He is also co-author of The Stokes Butterfly Book, published by Little, Brown and Co., and has published research articles in numerous scientific journals. His Ph.D. is from Princeton University. Flight of the Butterflies, a breathtaking new giant screen adventure from SK Films, will be showing throughout the day.  It is a natural history epic.  It is a detective story.  Join hundreds of millions of real butterflies on an amazing journey to a remote and secret hideaway and one scientist's 40-year search to unravel the mystery - where do they go each fall?  The Wild Center acknowledges the generous support from ADKAction.org that makes possible the local showing of Flight of the Butterflies at The Wild Center. This event is free.  Admission to visit the Center exhibitions and films is additional.  For more information on the film, visit http://my.wildcenter.org/page.redir?target=http%3a%2f%2fwww.flightofthebutterflies.com%2f&srcid=2291&srctid=1&erid=745090&trid=64e58c0e-0f03-4253-9d3e-d8f4a99823c7.  The Adirondacks are one of the stops on the monarchs' path and The Wild Center will be holding events all summer, including milkweed planting events and a butterfly migration aid station. Please check The Wild Center's website http://my.wildcenter.org/page.redir?target=http%3a%2f%2fwww.wildcenter.org%2f&srcid=2291&srctid=1&erid=745090&trid=64e58c0e-0f03-4253-9d3e-d8f4a99823c7 for additional information about monarch focused events throughout the year. For additional information about The Wild Center's hours, calendar of events, membership, special events, and featured programs, please visit http://my.wildcenter.org/page.redir?target=http%3a%2f%2fwww.wildcenter.org%2f&srcid=2291&srctid=1&erid=745090&trid=64e58c0e-0f03-4253-9d3e-d8f4a99823c7

# # #

Contact: Tracey A. Legat tlegat@wildcenter.org