Tax Weed Don’t Mow It – Save the Monarch! the Christmas holiday, while Santa was spreading joy and good cheer and Cindy Lou Who was tending her stocking, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was looking to play the Grinch and steal Christmas.  Earlier this week the FWS announced it would be a conducting a status review of the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the first step in potentially listing the species as a protected species.  According to the Service, it has determined that a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Food Safety, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and Dr. Lincoln Brower to list a subspecies of monarch (Danaus plexippus plexippus) presents substantial information indicating that listing may be warranted.

Is the Monarch really in danger of extinction you ask?  Noelle Swan over at the Christian Science Monitor has more on this developing story.  Turns out that the Monarch’s populations have declined precipitously over the last 20 years.  For those who may not be so inclined to dig into the ecology of this beautiful little creature, each year tens of millions of Monarchs migrate over 2000 miles from all parts of Canada and the U.S. to a small patch of forested mountains in Mexico, about 60 miles outside of Mexico City.  Yet something really odd is happening as depicted in this graph – the monarch has experienced an eye-popping 90% decline – a ghastly trend.