‘Threatened’ status sought for monarch butterfly

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Three conservation groups and a butterfly expert are asking the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to list the monarch butterfly as a threatened species.

The News-Journal of Wilmington, Del. (http://delonline.us/1vlX7L8 ) reports the petitioners blamed farming practices Tuesday for a loss of milkweed, a plant the butterflies rely on for feeding and breeding.

The petitioners are the Tucson, Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity, the Washington-based Center for Food Safety, the Xerces Society of Portland, Oregon, and monarch scientist Lincoln Brower of Sweet Briar College in Virginia.

Threatened-species status would allow federal officials more latitude to help the populations rebuild, but would not be as restrictive as endangered species status.

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Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., http://www.delawareonline.com

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