© 2024 WXPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Monarch Butterflies: Endangered or Not?


Each year monarch butterflies float through Northern Wisconsin on their way to Canada or Mexico, but the number of migrating monarchs is shrinking as the butterfly’s habitat gradually disappears.

The population of monarch butterflies has gone down so much that the insect now meets all the criteria to be listed as a threatened and endangered species.

However, so many animals meet those criteria, that the monarch butterfly didn’t make the official list.

“For me personally reading this news was almost a little bit of a shocking moment, that they can’t put in all the species that would be benefiting from this thing because there’s too many.”

That’s Baerbel Ehrig, the Pollinator Project Coordinator for Oneida County’s Land and Water Conservation Department.

She said the decreasing population of monarch butterflies is bad for people everywhere.

“Pollination in general is a process that is needed in every ecosystem," Ehrig said. "However, it’s especially important also to sustain our agriculture crops.”

Because monarch butterflies migrate through Northern Wisconsin each year, they play a significant role in pollinating the area’s plants.

If you want to help the monarch butterfly stay off the endangered species list, Ehrig said plant flowers.

“That could even be in a flower pot on your balcony or on your porch if you live in an urban setting. No matter what you do, planting some plants, including milkweed, will make a difference.”

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
Up North Updates
* indicates required
Related Content