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Beloved monarch butterflies now listed as endangered

AP: “The monarch butterfly fluttered a step closer to extinction Thursday [July 21, 2022], as scientists put the iconic orange-and-black insect on the endangered list because of its fast dwindling numbers. “It’s just a devastating decline,” said Stuart Pimm, an ecologist at Duke University who was not involved in the new listing. “This is one of the most recognizable butterflies in the world.” The International Union for the Conservation of Nature added the migrating monarch butterfly for the first time to its “red list” of threatened species and categorized it as “endangered” — two steps from extinct. The group estimates that the population of monarch butterflies in North America has declined between 22% and 72% over 10 years, depending on the measurement method. “What we’re worried about is the rate of decline,” said Nick Haddad, a conservation biologist at Michigan State University. “It’s very easy to imagine how very quickly this butterfly could become even more imperiled.” Haddad, who was not directly involved in the listing, estimates that the population of monarch butterflies he studies in the eastern United States has declined between 85% and 95% since the 1990s. In North America, millions of monarch butterflies undertake the longest migration of any insect species known to science…”

  • See also Migratory monarch butterfly now Endangered – IUCN Red ListGland, Switzerland, 21 July 2022 (IUCN) – “The migratory monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus plexippus), known for its spectacular annual journey of up to 4,000 kilometres across the Americas, has entered the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM as Endangered, threatened by habitat destruction and climate change. All surviving sturgeon species – also migratory, found across the northern hemisphere – are now at risk of extinction due to dams and poaching, pushing the world’s most Critically Endangered group of animals yet closer to the brink. The tiger (Panthera tigris) has been reassessed, revealing new population figures…”

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