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  • 26 July, 2022

  • 6 Min Read



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.


  • 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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