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Monarch Butterflies

Monarch Butterflies:

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.
  • Issues:
    • 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.