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.

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