With brilliant colored wings of orange and black, monarch butterflies are considered the most recognizable butterfly species in the world. They are also the most studied. Due to declining population, monarch butterflies are at risk of extinction. For the first time, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) added the migratory monarch butterfly to its red list of threatened species, designating them as endangered. This suggests that monarchs are only two steps away from extinction. Scientists are concerned by the rate of decline and if enough butterflies will survive to maintain the populations and prevent extinction.
The IUCN issued a report Thursday that estimates the population of monarch butterflies in North America has declined between 22% and 72% over 10 years.