Canada’s beloved monarch butterflies, with their vibrant orange and black wings, have finally received the critical protection they need. After being listed as “special concern” for years, the government has officially classified them as endangered under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).
This decision comes after a Parliament report highlighted the alarming decline of milkweed, the monarchs’ key food source. As one of the few migrating butterfly species, their journey from southern Canada to Mexico is a breathtaking, yet increasingly fragile, marvel of nature.
The “endangered” tag triggers the development of a crucial recovery plan, aimed at both saving the butterflies and restoring their dwindling habitat. This marks a long-awaited step, following the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada’s recommendation back in 2016.
Recognizing the monarch as a “showy species” and “one of the most well-known butterflies in the world,” the committee emphasized the threat posed by habitat loss. With population estimates uncertain, especially in western Canada, the situation demanded immediate action.
This shift in status presents a glimmer of hope for these iconic butterflies. With dedicated conservation efforts and habitat restoration, future generations may continue to witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of their migration, ensuring their wings grace the Canadian skies for years to come.