Monarch Butterflies Face Pesticides in U.S., Illegal Logging in Mexico

Illegal logging on a key sanctuary in Mexico threatens monarch butterflies already decimated by herbicides sprayed on milkweed in the U.S.

"The news was already bad. Really, really bad.

Monarch butterflies that alight from Mexico and fly across the United States to Canada are being massacred. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service laid out a grim statistic in February: Nearly a billion have vanished since 1990 as farmers and homeowners sprayed herbicides on milkweed, a plant the colorful creatures use as a food source, a home and a nursery.

On Tuesday, Mexican scientists and American conservationists announced that the killing field has widened in the worst place possible — a monarch sanctuary. More than 52 acres of a haven where the butterflies hibernate over winter has been degraded, mostly by deforestation from illegal logging, with drought helping the decline, they said. The upshot is that a sizable portion of monarchs that straggle from Canada, back across the states and into Mexico won’t have a home."

Darryl Fears reports for the Washington Post August 26, 2015.

Source: Wash Post, 08/27/2015