THIRD WORLD NETWORK BIOSAFETY INFORMATION SERVICE
A news report cites an alarming 90% drop in the Monarch butterfly population in North America, attributed to the decline in milkweed, which is the only food the caterpillars eat. The Monarch (Danaus plexippus) is one of the world’s greatest insect migrators; it flies some 4,800 km from Canada to Mexico over four generations.
The huge reduction in milkweed is attributed by scientists to the widespread cultivation of Roundup Ready GM crops in the U.S., which uses massive amounts of the herbicide, glyphosate. Monarch numbers have dropped from one billion in the mid-90s to only 35 million in 2013-2014.
Organizations including the Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Food Safety, and the Xerces Society have filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the Monarch as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
“The monarch is the canary in the cornfield,” says Lincoln Brower, a Monarch expert, “a harbinger of environmental change that we’ve brought about on such a broad scale that many species of pollinators are now at risk if we don’t take action to protect them.”
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'CANARY IN THE CORNFIELD': MONARCH BUTTERFLY MAY GET THREATENED SPECIES STATUS
Morgan Erickson-Davis, mongabay.com
Monarch butterflies were once a common sight throughout the North American heartland. In Mexico, where they overwinter, single trees would often be covered in thousands. But declines in milkweed – their caterpillars’ only source of food – have led to a 90 percent decline in monarch numbers. Now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is reviewing a petition that would grant the iconic species protection through the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Etiquetas: en, Monarch butterflies, Roundup, Third World Network