Beloved monarch butterflies now listed as endangered by conservation group

Monarch butterfly
Monarch butterfly(Kenneth Dwain Harrelson / CC BY-SA 3.0)
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 2:43 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - If you were asked to close your eyes and imagine a butterfly, odds are you’d be thinking of a black and orange delicate insect — a monarch butterfly. Sadly, this beautiful and beloved butterfly is endangered according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

In a study by Purdue University, the reason monarch butterflies are endangered is due to their food. Monarch caterpillars exclusively eat milkweed, which is a small group of plants that has seen a decline in the Midwest. According to North Dakota Game and Fish, in North Dakota, you are most likely to find milkweed in roadside ditches and on farmland.

Scientists believe a few things could be in play as to why milkweed is declining. They point to climate change, insecticides and parasites all contributing. Gardeners can do their part to help by planting milkweed, but they must be careful it is the right kind.

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