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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 26 July, 2022

  • 6 Min Read

MONARCH BUTTERFLIES

MONARCH BUTTERFLIES

The migratory monarch butterflies have been declared endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of threatened species.

About monarch butterflies

  • It's a sub-species of the Danaus Plexippus butterfly that travels around 4,000 kilometkilometers in America.
  • It is the most recognizable butterfly species that are essential pollinators and further provides various ecosystem services such as maintaining the global food web.
  • A smaller population of the species is also found in the countries like Australia, Hawaii, and India.
  • Adult monarch butterflies possess two pairs of brilliant orange-red wings, featuring black veins and white spots along the edges.
  • Males, who possess distinguishing black dots along the veins of their wings, are slightly bigger than females.
  • Each adult butterfly lives only about four to five weeks.

Issue:

  • Their population in the continent has declined around 23-72% over the last decade.
  • The population of the eastern monarchs that migrate from the eastern United States and Canada — the bigger group — also shrunk by 84% from 1996-2014.
  • They follow a unique lifestyle as they breed in only one particular plant The Milkweeds, but the removal of this plant by farmers also leads to their decrease in population.
  • Further, farmers also widely use a weedicide for the removal of milkweeds.
  • Legal and illegal logging and deforestation make space for agriculture and urban development, which causes the habitat destruction of these butterflies.
  • Frequent storms and droughts are more intense and disrupt flowering cycles, which led to the killing of millions of butterflies.

Source: Down To Earth


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