Over the past 20 years, the Monarch butterfly population has decreased up to 90 percent, according to a study by Lincoln Brower, a leading Monarch researcher at Sweet Briar College. The culprit? In an article by Mike Kilen in the Des Moines Register, Brower points a stern finger toward Monsanto’s Roundup, which kills off milkweed, the caterpillar’s only food source.
The fact that it took 20 years to discover such a startling decrease in a species makes us wonder what else is declining from Roundup poisoning? And how long until we discover that? Often, it is too late for many animals whose habitats are coveted by human beings; let’s hope the Monarch stands a better chance.
by Mike Kilen, August 29, 2014, Des Moines Register
The monarch butterfly weighs a fourth of a gram, yet migrates thousands of miles every September through Iowa to overwintering grounds in Mexico.
It’s why on Monday Brower joined three nonprofit organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity, to petition the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to rule the monarch butterfly threatened and give it Endangered Species Act protection.
His studies have included visits to Iowa, a state that historically has been a prime territory for their birth, but now is at the center of his criticism.
He blames the decline in migration numbers on the widespread use of Roundup herbicide, used to kill milkweed but not the genetically-engineered row crops resistant to it. Milkweed is the monarch caterpillar’s only food.
Check out the full article, Monarch butterflies dying — and Roundup is a suspect, on the Des Moines Register.