The migratory monarch butterfly is officially an endangered species.
The monarch butterfly subspecies – known for its seasonal migration across North America – was declared endangered on Thursday by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The IUCN has listed the species on its Red List of Threatened Species, which now includes 147,517 species.
MONARCH BUTTERFLIES ARE OFFICIALLY ON THE ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST
The monarch butterfly is threatened by habitat destruction and climate change, according to the IUCN.
“Today’s Red List update highlights the fragility of natural wonders, such as the unique sight of monarch butterflies migrating thousands of miles,” said IUCN Director General, Dr. Bruno Oberle, in a statement.
The migratory monarch butterfly, now endangered, travels 2,500 miles every two years between summer and winter grounds, according to National Geographic.
ENDANGERED CALIFORNIA CONDORS RELEASED IN REDWOOD NATIONAL AND STATE PARKS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1892
But the species’ population has deteriorated between 22% and 72% over the past decade.
Deforestation for agricultural and urban development has destroyed essential winter shelters in Mexico and California.