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Bugs with Beth: Monarch butterfly

Habitat loss is the primary threat to Monarchs: clearing their overwintering grounds for agriculture and urban development has left far less shelter for overwintering butterflies. Pesticides and herbicides used in industrial agriculture also claim the lives of Monarchs and their milkweed hosts. Although Monarch populations have fluctuated quite a bit in the past – last year, for example, was a bumper year for Western Monarchs, with many more individuals than usual recorded – the increasing trend of their threats makes it clear that they are at risk.