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Published May 2002
LGVN Animal - Butterflies

Further Environmental Threats to the Monarch Butterfly

Threat in the South from deforestation

Looking-Glass reports on the threat to one of the great wonders of the natural world, the Monarch butterfly. The species is in serious threat of extinction due to deforestation. Every year, tens of millions of monarch butterflies migrate from the United States and Canada to spend the winter on a few remote forest mountains in central Mexico where they huddle together for warmth on the branches of the oyumel trees. In spring they leave, dispersing across North America where they spend the warm summer months before heading south again as the weather turns cold. The round trip is 14,000 kilometres (8,700 miles) and an incredible five generations. The parents pass on genetic maps so the young can navigate their way back to the Mexican oyumel forests. Mexican authorities only have a single generation to stop illegal logging from decimating the few remaining islands of oyumel forest and therefore destroying the Monarch's over-wintering habitats forever.

New threat in the North from GM Crops

New and additional threats faces the monarch butterfly during their migration to North America. Pollen from gene altered corn appears to be killing the butterflies. Milkweed grows in abundance amongst and around the corn. Pollen from the corn lands on the Milkweed, which is a favorite food of the Monarch. One in five monarch larvae are known to be dying after being exposed to the toxic corn pollen.

What is the Red List and What is sustainable loss? ... See Here


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