The news is full of the problems being caused by climate change, but hearing about the decline of the Monarchs is especially disturbing to me.
Although we never took the time to stop and visit the Monarch preserve in the state of Michoacan, I have always felt a kinship with these beautiful butterflies as we all headed south for the winter. I hope there will always be Monarchs returning to Mexico, but they are now in grave danger.
It’s only a small step, but please join me in signing a petition asking the US Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the Monarch under the Endangered Species Act.
According to the Center for Biological Diversity: “Monarchs in the United States are in a deadly freefall: In less than 20 years, their numbers have dropped by 90 percent, and they’ve lost more than 165 million acres of habitat — a Texas-sized area. On Tuesday the Center and allies, including renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower, filed a legal petition to protect them under the Endangered Species Act.
The decline of monarchs is being driven largely by planting of genetically engineered crops in the Midwest, where most monarchs are born. These crops are made to be resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, a potent killer of milkweed, which is the monarch caterpillar’s only food.
“We’re at risk of losing a symbolic backyard beauty that has been part of the childhood of every generation of Americans,” said the Center’s Tierra Curry. “The drop in the monarch’s population, in human-population terms, would be like losing every living person in the United States except those in Florida and Ohio.”