Endangered species status review ordered for monarch butterfly

By Janell Thomas, Farm Futures

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct a status review of the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act, it said late last month, in response to a petition from several environmental groups.

The FWS says many monarchs migrate between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, logging journeys of more than 3,000 miles. But habitat loss – particularly the loss of the monarch caterpillar’s only food source, the milkweed – has made the journey more perilous, FWS said. Pesticides also have affected mortality, it added.

The agency will determine if an ESA listing is warranted through a 60-day public information period that will close March 2.

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