Lost butterflies

Asked September 22, 2014, 9:57 AM EDT

We live on the 11th floor of a 12-story building in Des Moines. We are inundated with monarchs this year. We have many new cell phone towers planted on our roof, too. Could the high-frequency waves from those be messing with the butterflies' ability to navigate? We were already concerned about these high-freq. waves. Workers who have gone onto the roof report horrible headaches. These towers point right onto our balconies. This is a difficult subject to pursue on the web. Thanks for your attention

Polk County Iowa

1 Response

This is not my specialty, so I FW your question to another agent and got this reply:

It seems feasible that the cell phone towers may interfere with the monarch butterfly’s flying behavior. Monarch butterflies. There was a recent study published in the journal Nature Communications which describes how researchers “identified the use of a light-dependent inclination magnetic compass in migrating monarchs”. What this basically means is researchers determined monarch butterflies use a similar navigation guide which detects changes to the earth’s magnetic field. Essentially monarchs have internal magnetic compasses if you will that helps orient them.


This type of compass is similar to birds. The frequencies from cell phone towers can theoretically interrupt these signals causing the butterflies/birds to fly erratically, but once they are in distance from them they will acclimate and reorient themselves.


So to answer your question, it is possible that the cell phone towers are messing with the monarch butterflies ability to navigate.