Monarch butterflies denied endangered species listing despite shocking decline
Fewer than 2,000 western monarchs have been counted in California this autumn, but in a long-awaited decision, the government recommends not designating them a threatened species.
Migratory western monarch butterflies have reached a record low this year, putting them at the brink of extinction, according to the latest survey of the insects. The annual autumn count, though not finalized, stands at fewer than 2,000—a significant decline from roughly 30,000 documented in last year’s count and millions on the wing in the 1980s. These numbers, collected by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, come as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it would not be recommending protection for the species under the Endangered Species Act.
While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that the monarch meets listing criteria under the Endangered Species Act, it opted not to list the butterfly, citing the need to