Vibrant, delicate, beautiful, endangered… extinct? These are all words that could soon describe the monarch butterfly if governments do not act in type to help save the species.
On December 5, 2016, the Committee on Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) promoted the monarch butterfly in status from “special concern” to “endangered.”
“It’s a big jump. An alarm bell is being sounded.” – Dr. Carolyn Callaghan, senior conservation biologist for terrestrial wildlife with CWF
The Monarch butterflies’ population, according to some studies, has decreased by 90% in the past 15-20 years. Researches mainly attribute this to the widely used herbicide glysophate, which is killing large swathes of the milkweed plants in the southern USA. Combined with logging in the monarch’s wintering grounds in Mexico (it’s timeshare in the sun), and the monarch butterfly is facing a battle against time.
Unfortunately, the monarch butterfly is relying on the speedy nature of government bureaucracy. This is made all the more complicated because the monarch butterfly migrates between three nations, Mexico, the USA and Canada, so any plan would ideally involve an agreement between all of those parties.
The doomsday clock for the monarch butterfly is ticking fast…
Read more about the monarch butterfly and action that is being taken by the government to help ensure its survival in Canadian Wildlife magazine, Mar + Apr 2017 edition.
Feature image by Isabelle Marozzo, a photo contest submission.