This is Probably the End for the Monarch Butterfly


Thu, Nov 28th, 2013 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

In The New York Times, Jim Robbins looks at how the Monarch butterfly, whose arrival usually coincides with the Mexican holiday called the Day of the Dead, didn't show up. Those few that did arrive, made it over a week late, "in record-low numbers."

Another insect in serious trouble is the wild bee, which has thousands of species. Nicotine-based pesticides called neonicotinoids are implicated in their decline, but even if they were no longer used, experts say, bees, monarchs and many other species of insect would still be in serious trouble.

That’s because of another major factor that has not been widely recognized: the precipitous loss of native vegetation across the United States.

“There’s no question that the loss of habitat is huge,” said Douglas Tallamy, a professor of entomology at the University of Delaware, who has long warned of the perils of disappearing insects. “We notice the monarch and bees because they are iconic insects,” he said. “But what do you think is happening to everything else?”



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