Migratory monarch butterflies have been declared endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species.
- Monarch Butterfly :It’s a sub-species of the Danaus plexippus butterfly that travels around 4,000 kilometres across America.
- It’s the most recognizable butterfly species that are essential pollinators and further provides various ecosystem services such as maintaining the global food web.
- A smaller population of the species is also found in countries like Australia, Hawaii, and India.
- Their population in the continent has declined 23-72% over the last decade.
- The population of the eastern monarchs that migrate from the eastern United States and Canada — the bigger group — also shrunk by 84% from 1996-2014.
- They follow a unique lifestyle as they breed in only one particular plant The Milkweeds, but the removal of this plant by farmers led to their decrease in population.
- Further, farmers also widely use a weedicide for the removal of milkweeds.
- Weedicide are known as the weed killers or pesticides that are used to kill unwanted plants
- Legal and illegal logging and deforestation make space for agriculture and urban development, which causes habitat destruction.
- Frequent storms and droughts are more intense and disrupt flowering cycles, which led to the killing millions of butterflies.