The earth has spent billions of years creating a system of checks and balances for the survival of many species, including ourselves. While many species have come and gone, there must be an alternative to be maintained so that one does not overpopulate and have a domino effect on others. Scientists have long reveled in the Monarch butterflies. Their journey often takes generations of butterflies to finally settle in the protected area of Mexico. In the last ten years, researchers are worrying at the intense decline of the Monarch butterflies, what is causing it and the overall effects it will have on other species.

The Monarch butterfly’s main food source is the milkweed plant, which is found throughout North America. The reduction of the milkweed plant growth has many debatable reasons, but the most prevalent and agreed upon seem to be the over production of logging; mostly in Mexico, where there is an uncontrolled amount due to popular demand. Additional contributing factors include increased use of pesticides that kill the milkweed plant as well as climate variations that can affect the growth of the milkweed plant and the Monarch butterfly itself. The World Wildlife Fund has expressed intense concern, as the population of the Monarch butterfly has shown a fifty nine percent decrease in this year alone. The responsibility of maintaining the Monarch butterfly habitat has long been a shared responsibility between Canada, the United States and Mexico, but now their populations are being threatened and this could have a catastrophic effect on the balance of other species and be an example of problems to come.

Another possible problem that is being researched is that the Monarch’s do not drink water during their migration, until they reach their habitat in Mexico. The lower levels of water in the habitat are exhibiting record problems due to drought conditions and the effects of human habitation.

Source: http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/13/17302569-scientists-see-ominous-decline-in-mexicos-monarch-butterflies?lite

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