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California tortoiseshell butterfly, photo credit Andy Reago and Chrissy McClarren

Slow For Butterfly Migration In Yosemite

By C. Lee-Roney, NPS

YOSEMITE — Highway 140 between Crane Creek and Parkline has become a killing zone for thousands of California tortoiseshell butterflies. This species emerges in spectacular numbers in some years (last in 2010), and is thought to be the source of Mariposa County’s name, which is Spanish for butterfly.

Please help minimize the number of butterflies killed by reducing your speed when you encounter their swarms. At 25 miles per hour, the butterflies are more likely to follow the slipstream around your car and emerge unscathed.

At higher speeds the butterflies smash into car windshields and grills, leaving windrows of dead butterflies along the road.  This is also a risk to the birds that come to feast on the dead butterflies.

Please help preserve the butterflies, and this unique display of nature’s abundance.  Slow to 25 miles per hour, and keep the butterflies alive.

Photo source: WikiCommons

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