Monarchs in Royal Trouble
Monarch butterflies are an iconic, beautiful species that migrate up to 3,000 miles from Canada to Mexico, traversing most of the middle of the U.S. each year. But Monarch populations have declined 90 percent since the 1990s, and could go extinct in the next few years if action isn’t taken.
Fortunately, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has opened a docket to consider listing the Monarch as an Endangered Species. This could give Monarchs, the protections they need to survive. But we have less than 60 days to respond or millions of Monarchs could die on their next migration. Sign here to tell the FWS to act fast and save Monarchs before they go extinct!
Research suggests that the overwhelming reason Monarch butterflies are dying is due to wide-spread use of a pesticide, originally called Roundup, that destroys milkweed — the main food source for Monarchs during their long southern migration. That pesticide is made by our old species-killing friends at the Monsanto corporation. With sales of $15 billion a year, you can bet Monsanto will fight, and fight hard, to stop us from protecting the Monarchs if it means less profit for them.
In the past, when faced with a decision about whether to crack down on Monsanto or save the planet, the FWS has chosen a weak-kneed approach: They’ve encouraged communities to plant more milkweed, instead of getting tough on Monsanto and other chemical companies. But that approach just wont work, as those well-meaning butterfly lovers, supported by FWS grants, may actually be killing even more Monarchs!
The only real solution is to list the Monarch as an endangered species and take the necessary steps to protect their habitat and food supply from dangerous pesticides and herbicides. It might cost Monsanto a buck, and they’ll beat their wings mightily in protest. But a holistic approach that saves the whole ecosystem – from weeds to indicator species – is the only approach that will really work.