Monarch Butterflies Put on Endangered Species List

The migratory Monarch Butterfly as been put on a list of endangered species amid fast-declining numbers caused by human activities that result in habitat destruction and climate change.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on Thursday added the migrating monarch butterfly for the first time to the group’s “red list” of threatened species and categorized it as “endangered” — just two steps from extinction.

In the past decade the Monarch Butterfly population has declined between 22% and 72%, scientists said. 

The western population of Monarchs is at the greatest risk of extinction, declining by a staggering 99.9% from an estimated 10 million butterflies to just 1,914 butterflies between the 1980s and 2021.

Every year monarch butterflies undertake the longest migration of any insect species known to science from their winter habitat in the mountains of central Mexico to the summer range of southern Canada and back.

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