Butterflies are free – from protection in Nevada
Monarch butterfly. (Photo courtesy John Buse/Center for Biological Diversity)
A bill draft authorizing the Nevada Department of Wildlife to protect monarch butterflies, bees and other terrestrial invertebrates advanced from the Nevada Legislative Joint Interim Standing Committee on Natural Resources, yesterday.
While the Nevada Department of Agriculture has authority over insects that are considered pests, no agency has authority over non-pests like butterflies, bees, snails, worms and tarantulas. The bill draft will be for the next legislative session when it convenes early next year.
“The insect extinction crisis has come to Nevada, and without the tools to conserve invertebrates, the state risks losing its wild ecosystems,” said Patrick Donnelly, Great Basin director at the Center for Biological Diversity.
More than 700 documented species of insects call Nevada home and the state ranks eighth in the nation for butterfly diversity, but 109 of those are on its at-risk tracking list including monarch butterflies.
“Butterflies, bees and other pollinators are the backbone of the desert ecosystem,” Donnelly said. “This bill would give the state the authority it needs to address the many threats these creatures face. ”
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