GENEVA, July 21 (Reuters) – The migratory monarch butterfly, which has for millennia turned North American woodlands into kaleidoscopes of colour in one of nature’s most spectacular mass migrations, is threatened with extinction, international conservationists said on Wednesday.
Every autumn, migratory monarchs fly thousands of miles (km) from breeding grounds in the eastern United States and Canada to spend the winter closely huddled in trees in Mexico and California.
Numbering in the millions in the 1990s, the butterfly’s population has since shrunk by more than 85%, scientists estimate.
On Wednesday it was placed in the endangered category of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.
“What’s happening to monarchs is like a death by a thousand cuts,” said Karen Oberhauser, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum…
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