WHAT IS THE BIGGEST THREAT TO MONARCH BUTTERFLIES?
Monarch butterflies may not be able to live for very long because of a lot of things. (Research source: National Park Service)
Monarch butterflies can be hurt by changes in temperature caused by climate change. Furthermore, monarch butterflies are very sensitive to temperature changes. In cold weather, they can freeze. In addition, very low temperatures may slow the growth of monarch caterpillars.
Habitat loss and Fragmentation
In the long run, when forests are cut down, monarchs lose their places to live. Habitat fragmentation can also change the migration routes of monarch butterflies. This makes the butterflies more vulnerable to bad weather, which leads to their death.
Monarch butterflies can only live and grow in a place that is good for them.
Widespread Loss of Milkweed
In order to get food and shelter, monarch caterpillars have to eat milkweed plants. Even though the plant is toxic, people remove it from their farms because of this.
Female monarch butterflies won’t have any place to lay their eggs without milkweed.
The use of pesticides on farms has a big impact on the number of monarch butterflies. Most of these chemicals kill milkweed plants, but some of them don’t. They have nothing to eat.
Pesticides can kill monarch caterpillars, and they may also harm the eggs, so they should be used with care. As a result, the number of monarch butterflies will dramatically fall in areas where pesticides are used a lot.
Loss of Nectar-producing Plants
Some ecosystems don’t have many plants that flower. This stops monarch butterflies from getting enough food. Food shortages can lead to death, a smaller population, and may also make it more difficult for people to move.