Home LATEST NEWS Monarch placed on endangered species list

Monarch placed on endangered species list

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millions of butterflies Danaus plexippus follow two migratory routes on the North American continent in spring and late summer: one west of the Rocky Mountains and one to the east, where the butterflies are much more numerous. These corridors extend over 4,000 km between southern Canada on the one hand and southern California and central Mexico on the other.

According to’IUCN, the monarch has seen its total population decline by between 22% and 72% over the past decade. The organization says the population passing through the west is the most at risk of extinction, having declined by around 99.9% from 10 million to 1914 butterflies between the 1980s and 2021. the east, which is more important, also fell, by 84% between 1996 and 2014.

This Red List update highlights the fragility of natural wonders, such as the unique sight of monarch butterflies migrating thousands of milessaid Dr. Bruno Oberle, Director General of theIUCNquoted in a press release.

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Avoid extinction

There are always questions about whether enough butterflies will survive to sustain populations and avoid extinction.

The three main causes that explain the decline of the monarch:

  • Climate change causes more weather events like storms and droughts during fall migration.
  • The use of pesticides destroys the milkweeds that often border agricultural fields. This plant is essential to the monarch’s life cycle, since it is the caterpillars’ only food source.
  • In Mexico, illegal logging has led to a loss of butterfly habitat in that country.

It’s painful to watch monarch butterflies and their extraordinary migration teeter on the brink of collapseunderlines Anna Walker, of the New Mexico BioPark Society, who led the monarch butterfly assessment.

Whether there are enough butterflies left to sustain populations and prevent their extinction remains a concernalert theIUCN.

Increased mobilization

For Anna Walker, there are signs of hope in mobilizing the public and organizations to try to protect this butterfly and its habitats.

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Created in 1964, the Red List includes 902 species that are now extinct and 82 species that are extinct in the wild.

Last June, ecologist Andy Davis and his colleagues at the University of Georgia published a study whose conclusions tended to temper fears about the fall in butterfly populations.

According to the researchers, these data show that population growth during the summer compensates for the winter losses of butterflies.

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