Endangered, Vulnerable or Threatened, Oh My!

Like Sara Dykman’s journey in her book, Bicycling with Butterflies, monarch butterflies face a perilous journey of survival. If you’ve followed our blog this past month, you might wonder if monarch butterflies are an endangered species.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a bureau within the Department of the Interior and the premier government agency dedicated to the conservation, protection, and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats, the answer is, sadly, not yet.

On December 15, 2020, the bureau announced that while listing the Monarch as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act is warranted, the Monarch is still just a candidate in this process and its status remains under review annually until a decision is made.

Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), plant and animal species may be listed as either endangered or threatened. “Endangered” means a species is in danger of extinction. “Threatened” means a species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future.’

You can read the latest about the status of Monarchs here: News Releases – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (fws.gov) and learn more about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s conservation efforts here: Assessing the status of the monarch butterfly (fws.gov)

Knowledge is power. Consider yourself armed with it and decide what you can do to help protect monarch butterflies!

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