Monarch butterfly listed as endangered species

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI)- For avid butterfly lovers, the Monarch butterfly may be a favorite. Now they might become a rare find.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature listed the Monarch butterfly on its red list of endangered species.

The butterfly is well known in North America and usually can be found in almost every backyard. But the insect is facing some tough challenges right now.

“They have a difficult time finding places to lay their eggs, because they need the milkweed to lay the eggs and the larva or caterpillars are using the milkweed as a food source when they hatch,” said Elizabeth Yohe, Southeast Natural History Biologist.

In an effort to help butterflies, the Cape Girardeau Nature Center and Missouri Department of Conservation recommends planting Milkweed or wildflowers for these endangered species, saying it’s like a fresh, healthy, salad for the colorful creatures.

“In some of the past 10 years, some of the populations have dropped by 95% and specially in the eastern United States,” Yohe said. “And they’re having a really hard time recovering from what’s called that ‘Extinction Vortex’ so once something starts becoming endangered, sometimes it can’t recover from that loss. And that’s what’s happening to the Monarch’s.”

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