Pesticides Contribute to Butterfly Decline

Butterfly populations are declining across the country.  Just last week, for example, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced two new butterfly subspecies have probably become extinct in South Florida.  Seventeen species and subspecies of butterflies are currently listed as endangered nationwide, and two are listed as threatened. Habitat loss and pesticide use are the top two problems contributing to these population declines, and are also affecting frogs, salamanders, toads, and other insects such as bees.  A U.S. Geological Survey study estimated that seven species of amphibians will drop by at least 50 percent at this current rate of decline if pesticide use and habitat loss does not decrease.