The Monarch butterfly may be in trouble. The Portland-based Xerces society and other conservation groups are asking the federal government to list the species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Sarina Jepsen is the group’s endangered species program director. She says this butterfly is found all across North America, including in Oregon (though not too often in Portland).
One of the big problems, she says, is the decline of milkweed, a critical food for the Monarch. That’s due in large part to the use of the pesticide Roundup, which has been increasingly used over the last two decades on genetically modified crops — inadvertently but inexorably killing milkweed plants.
What connection do you feel to the Monarch butterfly? What questions do you have about its future?
- Sarina Jepsen: Endangered species director for the Xerces Society