By Kaitlyn Eichelberger, The Dominion Post
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Since 1976, West Virginia has lost 90% of its state butterfly.
This summer, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) designated the migratory monarch butterfly as endangered.
The monarch butterfly was chosen as West Virginia’s state butterfly in 1995, the legislative resolution stating that the monarch is “one of the most beautiful butterflies in the region” and noting the species abundance in the state. Much has changed since 1995, however, and the once-plentiful populations are facing a sharp decline.
The IUCN is an international organization made up of government, scientific and academic institutions. The IUCN’s Red List is a global record of the extinction risks of thousands of animals, fungi and plants. This information is used by government agencies, wildlife departments and other organizations to develop conservation plans and policies…