Monarchs are in Danger of Extinction
Monarch Butterfly Population in 2020-21
How would you go about counting North America’s monarch butterfly population? Scientists can’t count each and every butterfly. Instead they count the area of land occupied by the monarchs in their Mexican over-wintering habitat. The 2020-2021 Monarch Butterfly Report below shows only 2.1 hectares, down from 6.05 hectares just 2 years ago. It’s one of the lowest acreage numbers for the winter population in 20 years. Entomologists believe that Monarch survival requires at least 15 acres of wintering butterflies annually. The situation is dire. Why is this happening?
Illegal Logging Is Increasing in Mexican Winter Habitat
A dramatic increase in illegal logging in the Mexican over-wintering biosphere was reported this year. Approximately 33 acres were lost, up from one acre of loss the year before. In addition problems with habitat loss in the U.S. persist due to the use of chemical insecticides, most notably Round Up.
Global Climate Change is Altering Monarch Habitat
Climate change has brought drought and severe weather to the monarch’s winter habitat. There is also concern that the extreme cold recently in Texas will retard the growth of milkweed and nectar-producing floral habitat that the Monarchs need as they begin their northward migration in March.
Why Do We Care?
At Vermont Woods Studios we make wood furniture so naturally we must focus on forest conservation if our industry is to have a future. But from a broader perspective, we’re working to save the monarch because it’s the poster child for all insects and insects are the foundation of our ecosystem. They aerate the soil, pollinate blossoms, and control much of our food supply. If we can’t save the most beautiful and magical of all insects, what kind of a future are we making for ourselves?
You Can Help Save Monarchs from Extinction
Are you interested in forest conservation and monarch butterflies? Support our mission by contacting our colleagues at Forests for Monarchs. You can donate, volunteer or even take an eco tour to see our projects up close and personal. Together we can change the world.
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