Monarch butterflies are probably the most beautiful insect. They’re so mesmerizing in fact that most people will forget they’re actually insects. But these flying insects are more than just their beauty, they play quite an important role. Like bees, they help pollinate plants and therefore contribute to crop growth and food production. Another reason monarch butterflies are so widely loved and admired is their impressive migration. They migrate from North America to Mexico every year in search of the perfect conditions. Specifically, they need to be in weather between 55 degrees and low 70s and there needs to be sufficient milkweed nearby during mating season.
Although their migration and entire lives depend on adapting to climate, climate change is making the consistent weather patterns they rely on inconsistent. As the Washington Post reports: “Now summer temperatures in the Midwest are soaring. The milkweed in Texas is drying up. Winter storms, once rare, are snaking through central Mexico regularly as air warms over the Pacific Ocean and blows across the region.”
Professor Chip Taylor, founder of Monarch Watch says: “If you’re talking 20, 30, 40 years out, we’re not going to be talking about monarchs any more.” According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, one billion butterflies have disappeared between 1990 and 2015.
Sadly, monarch butterflies are one of a million species whose survival is threatened by climate change. To urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to declare the monarch butterfly as a threatened species and do more to protect them, sign this petition!
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