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The population of eastern monarchs has declined 84 percent from the winter of 1996-1997 to the winter of 2014-2015, according to a Scripps Institution of Oceanography study. .....
This long-term decline means there is a “substantial chance” that monarchs become “quasi-extinct” within the next 20 years, researchers wrote in the study, published Monday in in the journal Scientific Reports. This means that a species is not yet extinct, but has so few individuals that it’s impossible for the population to recover.
Quite a few species in the world today are in the state of quasi extinction. It simply means while a few members of the species are alive and would continue to exist for a short while, the population, and eventually the species, will go extinct in the near future. Too few members aren’t enough to help the population grow, sustain, or recover. While multiple conservation techniques can be employed to prolong the existence of the species, the long term outlook is almost always bad.
Precise census is quite difficult to come by, but scientific estimation techniques maintained by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has shown a drastic reduction of 84 percent in the last decade.
Reasons for monarch population declines are complex, although some evidence suggests that loss of breeding habitat is the primary factor. Other factors include adverse weather conditions in recent years, loss of overwintering habitat, disease and exposure to contaminants.
A Center for Food Safety release about the plight of the Monarch butterflies reads, “Herbicides like Roundup don’t kill monarchs directly, but rather kill their primary food source and habitat. Milkweeds are critical to the monarch’s survival because they are the only plants monarch caterpillars will eat. But thanks to the rampant use of Roundup on Monsanto’s genetically engineered crops, milkweed plants in the heart of the monarch’s range have been demolished. Fewer milkweeds mean fewer Monarchs.”
originally posted by: argentus
a reply to: DontTreadOnMe
They are so delicate and beautiful. I once was in the path of a migration, and pulled over to the side of the road and danced in them. It was wonderful.
They are a part of my childhood too! I live not to far from a grove they visit on their migration route.
originally posted by: JustAnObservation
Wow this brought back many childhood memories - how very sad. I used to see these all the time and have not seen a single on in the last few years.. every year in elementary school we had a couple of days dedicated to raising monarch butterflies, working in the butterfly garden and then releasing them once they came out of their cocoons. This is exactly why I no longer buy produce from stores or products from Monsanto and Co, but instead grow my own and buy only from companies that sell organic, heirloom varieties. Alone I will never make a dent in the destruction our modern growing techniques cause, but at least I am not contributing to the problem.
Why is it that this exotic, invasive, non-native, butterfly is seemingly embraced by Australians as a part of the ecosystem? There are hobbyists out there who breed up more monarchs to release. There are companies which will breed monarchs and ship them to you in a pretty container for you to release on your wedding day.
As of mid-2012, Australia was thought to be free of the mite. In early 2010, an isolated subspecies of bee was discovered in Kufra (southeastern Libya) that appears to be free of the mite. The Hawaiian islands of Maui, Kauai, Molokai, and Lanai are all free of the mite.