September 01, 2022
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) placed the monarch butterfly in the endangered category on its Red List of Threatened Species in July. Monarch butterflies, known for their black and orange colour, undertake long two-way annual migrations, like birds do. Every autumn, these butterflies cover thousands of kilometres, travelling from their breeding grounds in Canada and the eastern United States to spend the winter in California and Mexico.
According to scientists, the population of the species has shrunk by 22% to 72% over the past decade. Scientists believe that the main reasons for the decline in the number of butterflies are deforestation, high temperatures triggered by climate change and pesticides and herbicides that kill milkweed plants, the main food of the monarch larvae.
Did You Know?
Monarch butterflies are the only butterfly species to make a two-way migration.