News Room

Monarchs May Soon Land on the Endangered Species List

Jan 05. 15

By Laura Clark,

Scientists fear that the butterfly’s population will continue to drop due to the loss of the its food source

Every year in late summer, monarch butterflies embark on an incredible migration. As the temperatures in the United States and southern Canada begin to drop, the bugs take off for the warmer weather in central Mexico and central and southern California—surviving trips spanning between 1,200 and 2,800 miles. But, as the numbers of butterflies taking that big journey drastically decrease, scientists are increasingly worried about the continuation of the species.

In 1996, an estimated 1 billion monarchs made the trip down to Mexico, as opposed to the mere 35 million that did so in 2013—that’s an almost 90 percent decrease over the last two decades. The primary culprit for the drop is the rapid loss of the monarch caterpillar’s sole food source, milkweed. Normally, milkweed grows easily in fields and gardens and around roadways, but it has become a casualty of human expansion and agricultural practices. (While genetically modified crops can resist poisonous herbicides, typically unwanted plants like milkweed are killed off.)

Without milkweed, there are no monarchs. Adding to the butterfly’s woes is increased deforestation of the mountains where they spend the winters.

Upon the urging of the several conservation groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week that it would consider listing the butterfly under the Endangered Species Act. The move would offer habitat protection and outlaw killing, collecting or trading monarchs across state lines.

As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducts a review of population numbers and existing conservation efforts over the next year, advocates hope the protective measure will indeed be implemented to help rescue the future of the iconic black and orange bug. In the meantime, some monarch conservation groups are offering free milkweed seeds to anyone who is willing to pitch in to help save the species.

Read Original Story in

Latest News

Biologically diverse BC to benefit from pledge for endangered-species law

Jul 25. 17

As Canada’s “most biologically rich province,” B.C. stands to benefit hugely from a long-awaited provincial government commitment to create a species-at-risk law, a senior official with the David Suzuki Foundation said Tuesday.

Keep Reading...

BC Premier John Horgan delivers mandate duties to cabinet ministers

Jul 24. 17

Environment Minister George Heyman’s mandate letter stated that he has been tasked with enacting an endangered species law and working to defend British Columbia’s interests in the face of the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Keep Reading...

Recent Press Releases

Govt Documents Reveal Huge Support For South Okanagan National Park

Sep 08. 16

BC government documents obtained by the Wilderness Committee reveal huge public support for a South Okanagan National Park

Keep Reading...

Environmental groups head to court over pollinator-killing pesticides

Jul 06. 16

TORONTO — Environmental groups are headed to court in a bid to protect pollinators from a harmful class of pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have been linked to mass bee die-offs and declining pollinator populations.

Keep Reading...

Media By Month