Monarch butterflies are one of the most recognizably known butterflies on earth, locally monarch butterflies are depicted in street murals, on posters, in gardens, and every summer, they are found across many city’s constructed walkways. As a result of habitat loss and climate change, monarch butterflies have been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on Thursday.
In addition to hazardous chemicals and deforestation, two byproducts of human industry, scientists also attribute the extinction of insects to climate change, as well as the loss of milkweed, a crucial food source for monarch butterflies. Since the 1980s, the number of migratory monarchs has decreased by an estimated 99.9% (or 10 million to 1,914), placing the western population at the greatest risk of extinction, according to scientists. The IUCN now lists monarch butterflies among 147,517 other vulnerable species on its red list.
Currently, 41,459 species are in danger of being extinct. Over the last two decades, the places that monarchs spend the winter in Mexico have decreased dramatically and consistently, according to the World Wildlife Fund of Canada (WWF). That is to say, this isn’t only a Canadian or American issue; rather, they’re fighting for survival rather than refraining from immigrating.
The monarch is currently recognized in Canada as a species of special concern under the federal government’s Species At Risk Act, but this is likely to change soon now that it has been red-listed by the IUCN, one of the top organizations in charge of protecting wildlife.