The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve: Background information when reading Flight Behavior

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Flight Behavior

by Barbara Kingsolver

Flight Behavior
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  • First Published:
    Nov 2012, 448 pages
    Jun 2013, 464 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elizabeth Whitmore Funk

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Beyond the Book:
The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve

The misguided migration of monarch butterflies to southern Appalachia in Flight Behavior is a fictional event, but Kingsolver grounds her theoretical occurrence in reality. As readers see through the character of Lupe, the Mexican wintering grounds of the monarch butterfly are damaged by drastic flooding and mudslides. This event is, sadly, entirely true.

The town of Angangueo in Mexico is host to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve In February 2010 the town of Angangueo, Mexico was devastated by floods and landslides. The damage caused the local economy to rely even more heavily on its butterfly-related tourism due to the extensive damage to the town's infrastructure, crop productions, and ability to farm cattle. Angangueo is located in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Biosphere Reserve is famous for the millions of monarchs who winter here every fall, but the species is very susceptible to environmental shifts and climate change, and in March 2012 the World Wildlife Fund estimated that that the number of monarch ...

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