The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety as co-lead petitioners joined by the Xerces Society and monarch scientist Lincoln Brower in petitioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In about 20 years, these once-common iconic orange and black butterflies may have lost more than 165 million acres of habitat — an area about the size of Texas — including nearly a third of their summer breeding grounds, the petitioners said. “Monarchs are in a deadly free fall and the threats they face are now so large in scale that Endangered Species Act protection is needed sooner rather than later, while there is still time to reverse the severe decline in the heart of their range,” said Lincoln Brower, monarch researcher and conservationist, who has been studying the species since 1954. “The 90 percent drop in the monarch’s population is a loss so staggering that in human-population terms it would be like losing every living person in the United States except those in Florida and Ohio,” said Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity.
You may be aware that bees are dying in large numbers across the globe, courtesy of the ever-increasing presence of toxins in our environment. But did you know that the monarch butterfly is also becoming endangered, and for the same reason?
As reported by the New York Times:
“Hoping to focus attention on the plight of the monarch butterfly at a North American summit meeting… a group of prominent scientists and writers urged the leaders of Mexico, the United States and Canada to commit to restoring the habitat that supports the insect's extraordinary migration across the continent.
Calling the situation facing the butterfly ‘grim,' the group issued a letter that outlined a proposal to plant milkweed, the monarch caterpillar's only food source, along its migratory route in Canada and the United States.”
Immediate Action Needed to Save the Monarch Butterfly
One of the major reasons for the dramatically diminishing numbers of monarch …
Monarch butterflies are known for their spectacular multigenerational migration each year from Mexico to Canada and back. Found throughout the United States during summer months, in winter most monarchs from east of the Rockies converge in the mountains of central Mexico, where they form tight clusters on just a few acres of trees. Most monarchs west of the Rockies migrate to trees along the California coast to overwinter.
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