Feds to delay seeking legal protection for monarch butterfly

By JOHN FLESHER AP Environmental Writer
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The monarch butterfly will have to wait longer to receive protection under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tells The Associated Press that the black-and-orange butterfly’s population has fallen enough to qualify for listing as threatened or endangered. But other species with a higher priority must be considered first. Officials plan to propose listing the monarch in 2024 unless its situation improves. They say a nationwide volunteer effort to restore habitat for the butterfly is helping. But environmental groups say it’s not enough.