Do you remember how many butterflies you met 20 years ago? Walking through the meadow trail you could see a wealth of butterflies at almost every step. Surely witnesses can tell how the butterflies accompanied them on their way home.

The monarch butterfly is called the king of butterflies for its beautiful and peerless black-and-orange coloring. Every year it migrates up to 3,000 miles from Baja California Peninsula to California’s Central Coast every winter. Tree trunks covered with thousands of monarch butterflies provide an unprecedented spectacle during their path.

Less Than 1% Remain

According to the survey conducted by The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the monarch butterfly population is going to extinction.

The population was estimated to be about 4.5 million in 1980, and by mid-2000’s, the number of monarch butterflies fell to 100,000. In 2018, only 28,249 individuals were recorded, which means 99.4 percent decrease in less than 40 years.

Humans Factors

As always – in all endangered and extinct animal species – human factors are to blame.

As with other insect species, it is due to invasive agriculture (illegal but also permitted deforestation, the increasingly widespread use of pesticides, mainly on corn and soybean crops.) Due to economic intensions, such as urbanization and infrastructures the butterflies are losing their natural habitat.

“It is very apt to say this is a canary in a coal mine for a lot of our native pollinators… We have declines in songbirds, and I think that links directly to declines in insects,” says Emma Pelton, a member of The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

New US-Mexican Border Wall

President Trump insists on building 33 miles of the US-Mexican border wall through the Texas’ National Butterfly Center, which nurtures 200 species of butterflies, including the monarch.

Amanda Munro told The Guardian: “They block wild animals from accessing food, water and mates they need to survive. They are weaken genetic diversity, a fragment of habitat, and trap animals in deadly floods.”

It is estimated that there are about 180,000 butterfly species, about 20,000-30,000 species of them fall into the day butterflies.

Researchers warn that insect species, including butterflies, are declining and disappearing at enormous speeds.