Monarch Butterflies Could Become Extinct

Monarch Butterflies

The most famous of butterflies, the Monarch butterfly, may be in danger of becoming extinct due to a decrease in their population, according to new report in January 2014. The danger comes from the shrinking of the forest ground in Central Mexico, where these butterflies go to spend the winter. The land was reduced by 44 percent, decreasing to only about 1.65 acres, which is not even the size of two football fields. This marks the third year in a row that the size of land the Monarch butterflies flies to during winter months is smaller.

The land the Monarch butterflies live on has been recorded since 1993. In 1996, the butterflies were living on 45 acres of land. Now that the land has shrunk down to 1.65 acres, people want to know what caused this drastic change. Monarch experts are blaming the warmer temperatures in 2012, which was followed by a cold snap in 2103 as the reason for the decrease in the Monarch’s winter habitat. If winter habitats continue to decrease, Monarch butterflies will become more rare, and could even become extinct.

Monarch butterflies are attracted to most species of the milkweed plant. The butterflies use the milkweed plant to lay their eggs. As the tiny caterpillars begin to hatch, they walk along the milkweed and use it as their only source of food and nutrition. After 14 days of eating the milkweed plant, the caterpillars are ready to form a cocoon so they can begin the transformation into a beautiful Monarch butterfly. If the caterpillar does not get enough food in this stage, the size of its wings could be affected during the transformation. The caterpillar spends 10 days inside the cocoon before it emerges as a new butterfly.

During their lifetime, Monarch butterflies migrate up to 3,000 miles each year during late summer to escape the harsh winter. This journey requires a massive amount of energy. Researchers have studied the lack of nutrition from the milkweed plant and how this would affect the Monarch butterfly later in life. If the butterfly did not get enough nutrition from the milkweed plant during the larva stage, the Monarchs wing size, shape, and maybe even its color will be affected. A smaller wing size would drastically affect the butterfly’s ability to travel and fly later in life and migration, for the Monarch butterfly, is critical to its survival.

The Monarch Butterfly is instantly recognizable by their black and orange pattern and their large wing size. The popular butterfly is also the state insect in several different states such as Texas and Vermont. The butterfly is also used as the emblem of the North American Free Trade Agreement. As the winter grounds become smaller, the Monarch Butterfly could become rare and even extinct. Andy Davis, a member of the research team recommends that people place the milkweed plant around their homes for the butterfly. This will help provide nutrition and a safe place to lay eggs, and could help this species make a comeback.

Opinion By Sara Petersen
@saraleepetersen

Sources:
Tech Times
HNGN
International Science Times

3 Responses to "Monarch Butterflies Could Become Extinct"

  1. Babu G. Ranganathan   April 7, 2014 at 7:34 am

    NOT MADE BY NATURE! Just because something exists in nature doesn’t mean it was invented or made by Nature. If all the chemicals necessary to make a cell were left to themselves, “Mother Nature” would have no ability to organize them into a cell. It requires an already existing cell to bring about another cell. The cell exists and reproduces in nature but Nature didn’t invent or design it! Nature didn’t originate the cell or any form of life. An intelligent power outside of nature had to be responsible.

    Natural laws can explain how an airplane or living cell works, but it’s irrational to believe that mere undirected natural laws can bring about the origin of an airplane or a cell. Once you have a complete and living cell then the genetic program and biological machinery exist to direct the formation of more cells, but how could the cell have originated naturally when no directing code and mechanisms existed in nature? All of the founders of modern science believed in God. Read my Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM

    Only evolution within “kinds” is genetically possible (i.e. varieties of dogs, cats, etc.), but not evolution across “kinds” (i.e. from sea sponge to human). How did species survive if their vital tissues, organs, reproductive systems were still evolving? Survival of the fittest would actually have prevented evolution across kinds! Read my Internet article: WAR AMONG EVOLUTIONISTS! (2nd Edition). I discuss: Punctuated Equilibria, “Junk DNA,” genetics, mutations, natural selection, fossils, genetic and biological similarities between species.

    Natural selection doesn’t produce biological traits or variations. It can only “select” from biological variations that are possible and which have survival value. The real issue is what biological variations are possible, not natural selection. Only limited evolution, variations of already existing genes and traits are possible. Nature is mindless and has no ability to design and program entirely new genes for entirely new traits.

    What about genetic and biological similarities between species? Genetic information, like other forms of information, cannot happen by chance, so it is more logical to believe that genetic and biological similarities between all forms of life are due to a common Designer who designed similar functions for similar purposes. It doesn’t mean all forms of life are biologically related! Also, “Junk DNA” isn’t junk. These “non-coding” segments of DNA have recently been found to be vital in regulating gene expression (i.e. when, where, and how genes are expressed). Read my popular Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM

    Read my popular Internet article, HOW DID MY DNA MAKE ME?

    Visit my newest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION

    Sincerely,
    Babu G. Ranganathan*
    (B.A. theology/biology)

    Author of popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS

    * I have had the privilege of being recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis “Who’s Who In The East” for my writings on religion and science, and I have given successful lectures (with question and answer time afterwards) defending creation from science before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities

    Reply
  2. charls darwin   April 7, 2014 at 6:09 am

    ummm i thought science and evolution are science facts!? meaning that weaker species die and make way for better species. why bother fighting the extinction let nature take its course

    Reply
  3. Djarn Nicholas   April 6, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    “the Monarch butterfly, may be in danger of becoming extinct due to a decrease in their population”
    Really? I thought species became extinct when their population rises. Thanks for clearing this up.

    Reply

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