The International Union for Conservation of Nature recently added the migratory monarch butterfly, known for their flight to California and Mexico during the winter, to their “Red List,” a compilation of animals that they deem endangered. The native populations of this butterfly have shrunk by at least 22% in the past decade, due to numerous factors, including deforestation, pesticides, and climate change.
Deforestation in Mexico and California to clear the way for urban spaces, has destroyed much of the monarch’s shelter. Pesticides and herbicides used in large-scale agriculture have killed butterflies and milkweed, the plant that the larvae feed off of. Drought, wildfires, and extreme weather and temperatures caused by climate change has also damaged these butterflies’ homes, as well as killed many of them.
In celebration of these beautiful creatures, Paul Smith’s VIC has organized a Monarch Fest which is scheduled for September 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.