Expert and advocate for iconic monarch butterfly has died

 Monarch Butterfly Courtesy Michigan DNR
Monarch Butterfly Courtesy Michigan DNR (WLUC)
Published: Jul. 20, 2018 at 8:28 PM EDT
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A man who was perhaps the foremost expert on North America's iconic monarch butterfly has passed away.

Lincoln Brower died Tuesday. He was 86.

Linda Fink, his wife, confirmed Friday that Brower died at home in Nelson County, Virginia, after a long illness.

Brower studied the orange-and-black-winged insect for more than six decades. The monarch is famous for its epic migration to survive the winter, traveling 2,000-plus miles each year to the California coast and the mountains of central Mexico.

Brower also studied their stark decline. In a rare move for a scientist, he helped petition for the butterfly to be protected under the Endangered Species Act. A decision will be made next year.

Brower was a professor at Sweet Briar College in Virginia and at the University of Florida.

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