Skip to content

Farewell to the Queen! Colorful Monarch butterflies are going extinct

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
2/3/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Drastic decline in butterfly populations due to reduction of milkweed

Monarch butterflies, the colorful brand of butterflies known for their bright orange and black wings, have become afar rarer occurrence today. There's a reason behind that: The destruction of milkweed, the butterflies' main source of food, has been largely eliminated from North America's western shores. These vivid examples of backyard wildlife have since become endangered.

Experts agree measured steps must be taken to make sure that the Monarch butterflies don't go extinct.

Experts agree measured steps must be taken to make sure that the Monarch butterflies don't go extinct.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
2/3/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Monarch butterflies, Mexico, migration, endangered


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund, fewer Monarchs migrated in 2013 than in any year since records began being kept 20 years ago.

The Monarch butterflies' habitat range stretches all along the west coast of North America. They take flight more than 2,500 miles from southern Canada and the U.S. down into Mexico. Millions of the butterflies take refuge from the cold in Mexico's temperate forests, holing up until March when they return to the north.

Buy our Cristo Redentor T-shirt by going here --

Several factors have contributed to the butterfly's disappearance, according to World Wildlife Fund researchers. The largest contributing factors are loss of habitat and reduction of milkweed, the Monarchs' primary food source.

"The combination of these threats has led to a dramatic decline in the number of monarch butterflies arriving to Mexico to hibernate over the past decade," Omar Vidal, the World Wildlife Fund director in Mexico, said in a statement. "Twenty years after the signing of the [North American Free Trade Agreement], the monarch butterfly migration -- a symbol of cooperation between our three countries -- is in grave danger."

The Monarch butterflies, which clump together in trees by the thousands, occupied more than 44 acres of forest in central Mexico during their winter migration of 18 years ago. The butterflies' covered just 2.93 acres of forest last year. The Monarchs' space measured less than 2 acres, which is a 44 percent decrease from the same time the previous year.

"The migration is definitely proving to be an endangered biological phenomenon," Lincoln Brower, a leading entomologist at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, said. "The main culprit is now GMO herbicide-resistant corn and soybean crops and herbicides in the USA, [which] leads to the wholesale killing of the monarch's principal food plant, common milkweed."

Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed plants. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed off the plant. Researchers say that without milkweed, there are no butterflies.

"They can't lay eggs on anything else," Christopher Singer, founder of the nonprofit Live Monarch Foundation, said in a statement. "Can't lay it on a watermelon, can't lay it on a parsley plant. It has to be a milkweed plant."

Experts agree measures steps must be taken to make sure that the Monarch butterflies don't go extinct. The Monarch migration is big business in parts of Mexico and California, where tourists flock to witness the butterflies' annual journey for themselves.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2017
Comfort for the Afflicted.
That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.


Comments


More Green

This is your warning - Scientists predict Biblical flood for California Watch

Image of An ARk Storm could turn many places in central California into lakefront property within days.

California is known for sunny weather, even in the winter. That has made the state one of the greatest destinations for people looking to ... continue reading


Is evolution a lie? The Tully Monster suggests evoluton took some strange turns Watch

Image of Go home evolution, you're drunk.

What the heck is a Tully Monster? If there was an award for the strangest animal to ever live, the Tully Monster would be on the short list ... continue reading


Can the stones literally 'cry out?' Researchers discover LIFE in crystals Watch

Image of Will stones literally

Like something out of a storybook, scientists have discovered <i>life</i> in crystals. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


They can, but should they? Scientists bringing back woolly mammoth from extinction Watch

Image of Will the woolly mammoth once again walk the earth?

Scientists are ready to bring the woolly mammoth back from extinction using new gene editing technology. The creature will be a hybrid, ... continue reading


Scientists knew California would be flooded this year, but how did they predict it? Watch

Image of ARk storms, normally rare, have become a weekly occurrence in California.

In December of 2015, Catholic Online reported that an atmospheric river event known as an ARk storm could cause catastrophic flooding in ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.