Monarch Butterfly Extinction

As a kid, I’d collect butterflies with my father and brother. We caught many types in the canyons near Rose Creek. By far, the most populous was the Monarch.

By Kenneth Dwain Harrelson, CC BY-SA 3.0,

I remember complaining about only catching Monarchs. “Nothing interesting”, I’d say and was reprimanded by my father. He’d say, “in your lifetime, the Monarch will become extinct. Appreciate it while you can.” At six, I spent a lot of time thinking about what this meant and finally grasped the concept.

I carried this statement with me throughout my life. If I ever saw a Monarch, I’d tell anyone and everyone that it was going extinct. I’d get blank stares or asked “Why?” and I’d explain about pollution, not quite getting the story of milkweed straight. I later learned of the milkweed connection and how it is essential for the Monarch’s survival.

As the milkweed dies off, the Monarch is doomed. Recently it was added to the endangered species list.

Overall the migrating populations are less than half the size they need to be to avoid extinction.

Save the Monarch Butterfly

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