Monarch butterflies, known for their massive migration that results in millions descending upon California and Mexico each winter, may be in danger. North American monarchs are the only butterflies that will travel up to 3,000 miles each fall to get ahead of cold weather that will kill them if they don’t leave.
Monarch butterflies may soon be added to the Endangered Species List. Fifty two members of Congress have signed a petition urging President Barack Obama to support this inclusion. Monarch population has decreased by 90 percent over the last twenty years. The letter was sent to President Obama with Representative Chellie Pingree spearheading the Endangered Species List effort.
“The loss of habitat and devastation of the Monarch population should be a wakeup call. If we keep applying ever increasing amounts of chemicals to farm lands it’s going to have an impact on the environment,” Representative Pingree said.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is mandated to issue a “12-month finding” on the Monarch butterfly petition that will propose protection under the Endangered Species Act. The Center for Biological Diversity, and the Xerces Society filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pushing for the Monarch butterfly to be deemed “threatened” and added to the Endangered Species List. The 2014 petition cited the significant threat to the habitat of the butterfly when pushing for protection.
Center for Food Safety Executive Director Andrew Kimbrell said of the efforts to save the Monarch butterfly, “Listing Monarch butterflies as a threatened species is essential to their survival. An iconic species is on the verge of extinction because of our chemically intensive agricultural system. This petition is the scientific and legal blueprint for creating the protection that the monarch so direly needs. We thank Representative Pingree for her stalwart support and hope that this sends a strong signal to the Obama Administration.