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Threatened Species – Monarch Butterfly

The Monarch Butterfly, one of the most recognized in the United States, has been on the decline in recent years and now the monarch butterfly is a candidate for the ‘threatened’ species list under the Endangered Species Act.  The Missouri News Service reports the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service acknowledges the monarch does need protection – but limited resources have led the agency to prioritize other species first.

Rebeca Quiñonez-Piñón with the National Wildlife Federation says the monarch is number eight on the list of threatened-species candidates. She says causes for its decline include climate change and loss of habitat, as well as the use of herbicides. The herbicides kill native milkweed, the only plant where the butterflies reproduce and lay their eggs.

She says there’s a need to scale up both public and private investments to restore these migratory pathways. Conservation groups say the rapid monarch population decline reflects the threats faced by other pollinators as well.

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