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Information Needed for Monarch Butterfly Listing
Pat Sziber

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has responded to a petition finding to list the Danaus plexipus plexippus subspecies of the monarch butterfly as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The petition states that the listing may be warranted due to threats in the butterfly’s migration, summer, and overwintering habitats. Major threats are loss of milkweed and pesticide use. The petition opens a status review and 60-day information collection period, which commenced on December 31, 2014, the date of publication in the Federal Register. A draft of the petition finding can be found at https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection.

We know that there has been a severe decline in the monarch butterfly population. Very few were seen last summer, even during butterfly counts in previously butterfly-rich habitats containing milkweeds, the monarch caterpillar’s preferred food source. If you have data on monarchs, you can help support the threatened species listing by submitting it to USF&W. Specifically, the Service seeks information including:

  • Historical and current range, including distribution patterns;
  • Historical and current population levels and current and projected trends;
  • Potential effects of climate change
  • Past and ongoing conservation measures for the subspecies, its habitat, or both.

Information can be submitted via www.regulations.gov by entering docket number FWS-R3-ES-2014-0056 in the search box and clicking on “Comment Now!” The deadline for submission of information is March 2, 2015. If you have questions, you may contact Ron Popowski, Asst. Supervisor, US Fish & Wildlife Service, NJ Field Office in Pleasantville, NJ at 609-241-7065.



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Last revision: Saturday, January 24, 2015