Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Monarch Butterfly is on the edge of extinction

Mod: We're rapidly killing off a lot of things in this world. Of course, we could easily be on that list as well. 

The Monarch Butterfly is on the edge of extinction (Pulse.com link): The West Coast Monarch Butterflies are on the edge of extinction after suffering an alarming decrease in its population during the last few decades. According to a new study, the population of these famous butterflies has declined by 97 percent in 30 years.

Scientists say that the decrease of the Monarch Butterflies population is greater than expected. It is mainly a consequence of the loss of their primary food source, the milkweed. As well, they say that their disappearance could be a result of climate change.The West Coast Monarch Butterflies are on the edge of extinction after suffering an alarming decrease in its population during the last few decades. According to a new study, the population of these famous butterflies has declined by 97 percent in 30 years.

The population of Western Monarch Butterflies is declining at a seven perfect rate every year, which is faster than virtually all the population of Easter Monarch Butterflies. The latter species is also about to go extinct. The species has faced a 97 percent decline of its population during the last 30 years. To get to this data, scientists have collected available historical records using statistical models to merge data from the 1980s and 1990s with records gathered by scientists during the last two decades.

“In the 1980s, 10 million monarchs spent the winter in coastal California. Today there are barely 300,000,” Cheryl Schultz, a biologist at Washington State University Vancouver who led the study, in a statement. “This study doesn’t just show that there are fewer monarchs now than 35 years ago. It also tells us that, if things stay the same, Western Monarchs probably won’t be around as we know them in another 35 years.”

In the 1990’s, scientists and people from Western California began noticing that these beautiful and colorful insects were not seen as frequently as before. That is why scientists began tracking western monarch butterflies. Since the Xerces Society’s Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count in 1997, hundreds of volunteers have help scientists to count these butterflies.

The disappearance of the monarch butterflies is due to the loss of their food source and due to the increasing urbanization in California. Humans have changed their habitat as many places where the butterflies used to feed and nest are being used for the development the cities and areas for agriculture. Also, climate change plays an important role too.

The study findings were published in the journal Biological Conservation last week. Emma Pelton – endangered species conservation biologist at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and co-author of the study – said that this study will help conservationists understand the risks that are faced by the western monarch butterflies and how to protect them. She said that scientists and policy makers were aware of the increasing disappearance of the Eastern Monarch Butterfly population but little did they know before that the Western Monarch Butterfly was facing a greater risk of extinction.

Unlike the Eastern Monarch Butterflies – which spent the winter in Mexico -, western monarch butterflies stay in California’s coasts during the winter in nests, before they disperse around the west coast for the warmer months. Therefore, losing the nesting areas for the butterflies makes them disappear too. The migration of the western monarch butterflies is also amazing because, after the winter, they go to lay their eggs on milkweed and drink nectar from flowers in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Utah. They return to California in the fall.

Schultz says that due to that, they are studying the breeding times and other locations for the Western butterflies to know how to protect these black-and-orange winged insects. For her, there is still hope. She believes that if actions are taken now, it is possible to make out of the 21st century the era when these butterflies return to landscapes.

“The hard part of being a conservation biologist is documenting species declines. The exciting part is figuring out how to help declining species recover” said study co-author Elizabeth Crone, an ecologist at Tufts University. “In the 20th century, we brought bald eagles back from the brink of extinction by limiting use of DDT.”

Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering adding the monarch butterfly to the list of threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. This agency also helped to fund the research. They are facing a 63 percent chance of extinction in 20 years and an 84 percent chance in 50 years if current trends continue. The Monarch Butterfly is one of Americas’ most popular and recognizable butterflies. They are a common subject of study for students and scientists internationally.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

27 comments:

  1. The dodo bird, the Darling House, and now this. Thanks. A. Lot.

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  2. I am not in favor of the entire human race going extinct. Just the part that isn't me, my friends, and those that supply us with what we need.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think Mother Nature would care enough to make that distinction.

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    2. 7:15 so unworthy

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  3. Corrupt swamp thug Trump withdraws from Paris Agreement so corrupt cronies can profit... meanwhile- Beijing announces plan to ban fossil-fuel burning cars.

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    Replies
    1. Beijing has a long ways to go.

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    2. Perhaps you should move to Beijing since it's so progressive! That would really teach Trump a lesson!!!

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    3. perhaps you should get some friends
      any friends
      must be lonely hiding under your bed everyday

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  4. When it comes to cars they don't. They rank 73 of countries with cars per capita. US ranks third.

    US / Trump elites still clinging to failed/obsolete 20th century policies while the rest of the world progresses.

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    Replies
    1. The are is so thick with pollution in some Chinese cities you can cut it with a salami.

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    2. ...And they're doing something about it... rather than embarrassingly return to coal like trump and his corporate cronies

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    3. China is still a cheap labor state. They don't give a damn about the environment.

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  5. Trump in cahoots with corrupt denialists and chemical companies that are killing our planet:


    Our monarch butterflies are vanishing -- and all signs point to Monsanto as the main culprit.

    Major press outlets worldwide reported last year that the butterflies are in "grave danger". Their population has reached the lowest numbers ever recorded. Now, yet another independent study has linked the monarch's decline with Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide.

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  6. What does politics have to do with butterflies? Stay on topic or change blogs.

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    Replies
    1. Politics has everything to do with politics. What party is in power, what party is eliminating the EPA and Dept of Ag positions not being filled that would keep the nation on tract to a healthy environment. Everything is politics. Open your eyes. Try a little critical thinking on a Sunday morning.

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    2. 9:48- you're an idiot if you don't think politics and policy affect the environment. Read a book and come back when you're ready to contribute something meaningful.

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    3. Maybe when 9:48 he can connect the dots between corporate politicians like Trump and Corporations like Monsanto and learn how their influence at local and federal levels (Monsanto even has at least one man on the Supreme Court), benefit capitalist extremists that pollute the environment and endanger animals like bees and butterflies.

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    4. All the red meat thrown to anti trump has attracted loonies to this blog who use it as an echo chamber. Everything is politics to them.

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    5. ...yet you still read the tattler. every day.

      in denial

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    6. Everything is politics to the Trumpers as well. Why do you think everything is always Obama's fault?

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  7. Monarch butterfly's main food is Milkweed. Milkweed is lethal to grazing animals so farmers eradicate it with herbicides. All this points back to Monsanto (and other poison makers). Eat organic. Sure it is more expensive (sort of) but if you send more on food maybe you will waste less (I know I do). Vote against Monsanto with your pocketbook. Economic boycotts is all they will listen to at this point.

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    Replies
    1. If all food was green organically, there wouldn't we enough food.

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    2. Don't be silly. Sure there would. If modern sustainable practices were followed.

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  8. My observations are more than fifty years the Monarch Butterfly, Honey Bees, Ladybugs, Robins, have all but disappeared from this area.
    Years past, you would watch clouds of Monarchs pass through Sierra Madre on their quest North.
    Red Robins, so thick you would lose count as they scattered throughout the schrubs in search of berries.
    The human creature puts itself first; nature takes a back seat; unless your name is Harvey or Irma.

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  9. Bats, bees, butterflys all being affected by the combination of pesticide and and herbicide on our waterways, soils and plants and animals that are the food for these nectar eaters and pollen spreaders.

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  10. Good info, thanks Mod.

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