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Monarchs

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is soliciting contract bids for spraying more than 2.6 million acres of Montana grasslands to suppress native species of grasshoppers. Spraying puts at risk organic farms and a national wildlife refuge adjacent to the proposed spray areas, as well beneficial insects within the spray blocks.
Proposal by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to spray insecticide by aircraft across 30,000 acres of public lands in Oregon will impact protected Wilderness Study Areas and be near recreational and biodiversity hotspots such as Steens Mountain, the Alvord Desert and the Pueblo Mountains.
The Xerces Society today announced that only 1,914 monarch butterflies were recorded overwintering on the California coast this year. This critically low number follows two years with fewer than 30,000 butterflies—the previous record lows—indicating that the western monarch butterfly migration is nearing collapse. In only a few decades, a migration of millions has been reduced to less than two thousand butterflies.
On Tuesday, 12/15/20, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that listing the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act is warranted, but precluded by other priorities. This decision does not provide the protection that monarchs, and especially the western population, so desperately need to recover.
Early count numbers from the Xerces Society’s Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count suggest that the western migratory population is at an all-time low. With roughly 25% of the data in, only 1,182 monarchs have been reported. If this early data reflects monitoring at the rest of the sites, we may see fewer than 10,000 monarchs overwintering in California this year.