The New York Times recently had an article on the continuing decline of Monarch butterflies. They reported
This year, for or the first time in memory, the monarch butterflies didn’t come, at least not on the Day of the Dead. They began to straggle in a week later than usual, in record-low numbers. Last year’s low of 60 million now seems great compared with the fewer than three million that have shown up so far this year. Some experts fear that the spectacular migration could be near collapse.
The article also talked about the decline of wild bee species. Major causes of decline in butterflies, bees and other insects populations are the nicotine-based pesticides called neonicotinoids, the loss of native vegetation and the herbicide Roundup.
Insects are critical to the cycle of life as they convert plants into organic matter, disperse seeds, are a major food source for birds and pollinate about 80 percent of our food crops. Read more at: The Year the Monarch Didn’t Appear – NYTimes.com.