The ongoing decline of North American monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus plexippus could lead to its extinction. Despite their remarkable adaptations and ongoing conservation efforts, the misguided approach to protecting them is undermining their chances of survival.
Most monarch initiatives are grounded in a false separation of nature and society. Monarch conservation reserves are based on a western ideal of pristine nature, fenced off from humans.
National parks that protect monarchs removed — sometimes forcefully — local people, including Indigenous groups who have long lived sustainably with these insects. This separation caused the monarchs to suffer from that disconnection from the communities which followed agricultural practices that protected them.
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