Have you read the recent articles about the petition to list the Monarch butterfly as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act? While surveys of overwintering Monarchs suggest that population levels have been fluctuating in North America in recent years, recent monarch population numbers throughout the world have been estimated to be as high as one billion.1 Research has indicated that the well-known migrating eastern North American Monarch population has increased over 60 percent over the past year, to 56 million in 2015 from 34 million in 2014. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services has never before listed a butterfly species with a population of greater than 100,000. Moreover, NatureServe, a non-profit conservation organization providing leading information on rare and endangered species, has determined that the Monarch is not threatened and has instead found that the species is in category 5, demonstrably secure, the most secure level under NatureServe’s species evaluation method.
CropLife America (CLA) and its members believe that governmental and privately-sponsored measures are important to address concerns regarding the Monarch and promote the species’ habitat (e.g., correct varieties of Milkweed). Indeed, a significant number of federal, state, local, international and private measures are already underway or are expanding with additional sources of funding.
Agricultural topics and conversations, such as those concerning the protection of wildlife, need to include all viewpoints. CLA encourages everyone to become involved in discussions on agriculture. Watch and share CLA’s new video, Grown With You, to learn more about how modern agriculture needs your voice!
1 NatureServe Explorer – An Online Encyclopedia of Life, Monarch Butterfly Page (2014).