Experts in butterfly conservation around the world have expressed their worries that monarch butterflies might go extinct in the next few years.
According to a study conducted by Monarch Conservation Science Partnership, the population of the majestic monarch butterflies has decreased by as much as 80 percent in the last 10 years. It has been predicted that the population of monarch butterflies will hit 11-57 percent in the next 20 years.
This, according to the researchers, signals a possible quasi-extinction should there be no intervention done to address issues that threaten the population of the butterflies. The species of monarch butterflies is currently being considered to be included in the list of threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the study notes.
“Given the cultural significance of monarch butterflies and difficulty of addressing the causes of their decline, it is important to establish the extent of their vulnerability and identify the population size needed to reduce the risk of quasi-extinction to an acceptable level,” an excerpt of the study reads.
According to an article from the PerfScience, among the aspects that threaten the population of monarch butterflies include the significant decrease of their food source and human encroachment of their natural habitat.
The report added that monarch butterflies, or any other species of butterflies, rely on milkweed for their main food source. But the continued use of pesticides and insecticides contribute to the disappearance of milkweed across the country.
Thus, butterfly conservationists have been urging the public to take part in the effort to protect the population of monarch butterflies by planting milkweed in their individual yards. Planting pollinators are also effective strategy that ordinary households can do to ensure that the population of monarch butterfly is protected.