According to the IUCN Red List, the migratory monarch butterfly is now listed as endangered. The decline of milkweed plants, along with climate change, has resulted in significant habitat loss for monarch butterflies. Milkweed plants serve as breeding habitats for monarch butterfly generations to come. Unfortunately, many people despise milkweed because of its appearance. Monarch butterflies require milkweed to thrive since it is their sole source of food as caterpillars. According to the National Park Service, plant loss has also been impacted by urbanization, large-scale agriculture, and drought conditions.
Monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico and California over the winter months, but their habitats are quickly dwindling due to deforestation, harsh weather, and other interruptions. Out-of-season storms, extreme temperature decreases, and torrential rainfall have all contributed to the mortality of yet another species as a result of climate change. The National Park Service highlights key conservation initiatives inside parks, such as catching, identifying, and tagging monarch butterflies in order to learn more about their populations and migration patterns.
So, why are they significant? Monarch butterflies help to keep the earth healthy and pollinate a wide range of plants. They are also an important food source for many species, including birds, small mammals, and insects.
One Green Planet outlines how you may assist in the conservation of monarch populations:
1.) Don’t use Pesticides in your own Garden
2.) Avoid Genetically Engineered Foods
3.) Plant Native Milkweed
4.) Create a Monarch Way-Station
5.) Join the Fight to Stop Climate Change
6.) Use FSC Certified Wood
7.) Learn More
8.) Spread the Word