North American monarchs imperiled

By Steve Law, Portland Tribune

North American monarch butterflies are vulnerable to extinction, according to a new assessment by NatureServe and the Portland-based Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

The assessment was done as part of a report for the U.S. Forest Service, called Conservation Status and Ecology of the Monarch Butterfly in the United States, which summarizes the monarch’s North American distribution, life history, population, current conservation status, and potential causes of decline.

Using data on population abundance, trends, and threats, the team of scientists determined that the monarch butterfly species as a whole is apparently secure, but the subspecies occurring in North America is vulnerable to extinction.