Monarch butterfly considered for federal protection

By Dylan J. Darling, The Bulletin

A far-flying butterfly known to pass through Central Oregon may land on the Endangered Species list.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week announced that it has begun a status review for the monarch butterfly, in which the agency will determine whether the black-and-orange winged insect warrants federal protection.

The review of the monarch butterfly comes in response to an August petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Food Safety and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, as well as research by a butterfly expert, according to an email from Megan Nagel, a Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman in Portland.

The status review of the monarch butterfly should be done about a year from the petition, according to the agency, so a determination of whether the butterfly warrants federal protection probably will be done next August. An initial, three-month review of the species led agency officials to say more review is warranted.