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Images: Disappearing Butterflies of the Rocky Mountains

Feeding time

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(Image credit: Carol Boggs.)

The numbers of tiny and lovely Mormon fritillary butterflies have been declining in the Rocky Mountains, and a group of scientists says they now know why. Early springs, caused by climate change are affecting their numbers. Read more about the disappearing butterflies.

Nice work if you can get it

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(Image credit: Carol Boggs.)

A researcher catching Mormon fritillary butterflies in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Green lunch

caterpillar, butterflies affected by climate change, climate change effects on animals, mormon fritillary butterfly, earlier springs, early snowmelt in rocky mountains, butterfly images, butterfly photos

(Image credit: Carol Boggs.)

A caterpillar of the Mormon fritillary butterfly munches on the leaf of a violet. The wildflowers are a favorite snack of the inchoate insects.

Cold kills

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(Image credit: David Inouye.)

A dead bud of an aspen fleabane daisy. Frost killed off the growing plant. Dead buds mean no nectar, which means no food for butterflies.

Soon to be gone?

caterpillar mormon fritillary, butterflies affected by climate change, climate change effects on animals, mormon fritillary butterfly, earlier springs, early snowmelt in rocky mountains, butterfly images, butterfly photos

(Image credit: Carol Boggs.)

A caterpillar hunkers down to a meal that is disappearing, falling victim to early spring melts, which are likely the result of climate change.