Groups seek U.S. protection for monarch butterflies

By Sandy Bauers, Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist

In a little less than 20 years, monarch butterflies — those orange icons of the garden — have declined more than 90 percent.

On Tuesday, several groups and long-time monarch scientist Lincoln Brower filed a legal petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking Endangered Species Act protection for the species.

“Monarchs are in a deadly free fall and the threats they face are now so large in scale that Endangered Species Act protection is needed sooner rather than later, while there is still time to reverse the severe decline in the heart of their range,” said Brower in a press release. He has been studying the species since 1954.

The groups are the Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety, plus the Xerces Society, which focuses on invertebrate conservation.

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