New Research Links Neonicotinoid Pesticides to Monarch Butterfly Declines
By Jonathan Latham, PhD
New research has identified the neonicotinoid insecticide
clothianidin as a likely contributor to monarch butterfly declines in North
America. The research, published on April 3rd 2015, identifies concentrations
of clothianidin as low as 1 part per billion as harmful to monarch butterfly
caterpillars. These concentrations of clothianidin were found in the
populations of milkweeds sampled by the researchers. Previously, no research
had been done on neonicotinoids and butterflies and therefore this is the
first report of neonicotinoids affecting monarchs or any other butterflies.
The research was conducted in Brookings, South Dakota and is published in the
journal Science and Nature (Springer).