Butterflies are definitely some of the most important creatures in the world. It’s not what they like, and neither is it what they stand for. Instead, they are pollinators. And since currently pollinators are being faced with a huge dying off problem (which would also cost us hundreds of billions of dollars), every preserved species is highly valuable.
Monarchs returning from exile
After steadily leaving the country over the past 20 years, authorities were very pleasantly surprised to discover that a number of monarch butterflies started returning to Mexico last winter. Their numbers have been declining drastically over the past two decades, and authorities are worried that they might be going extinct.
But in a survey compiled late last year, experts discovered that the number of monarch butterflies returning to Mexico for the winter has almost, but not quite quadrupled. Previously recorded data showed the butterflies able to occupy 1.13 hectares of forest, while last year’s data showed them at around four hectares.
Still not enough
Even though the increase might seem significant, which it totally is, the numbers still pale in comparison to numbers seen two decades ago. This shows that despite the authorities’ efforts, whatever they are doing is not enough. It is relevant, but not quite enough.
More specifically, the year 2014 saw a population of about 33.5 million monarch butterflies. Last year saw an increase in their numbers, as experts found a population of monarchs nearing 56.5 million. And sure, it may seem like a lot, but it’s barely a fraction of the one billion monarchs flying about twenty years ago.
Courses of action
While Omar Vidal, Mexico’s World Wildlife Fund Director General is raising the country’s contributions towards preserving the majestic insects, United States environmental and conservationist organizations are also attempting to take measures.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services were also contacted in order to classify the monarchs as an endangered species in an attempt to bring the creatures back to North America. The Agency will start a collaboration with two other agencies in order to attempt preserving the species.
Making another effort, President Barrack Obama started a Pollinator Health Task Force meant to stop the deaths of our world’s pollinators, as well as to start bringing their numbers back up. In the case of the monarch butterflies, the task force is to raise their numbers by 225 million, as well as to cover 15 acres of Mexican forest with the insects.
Image source: Wikimedia