Are butterflies on the road to extinction?

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HOUSTON, Texas - Children love the story of the very hungry caterpillar who went looking for food, built a cocoon around himself and turned into a beautiful butterfly.  But in real life, butterflies are dying.

A global biodiversity report issued by the United Nations says thousands of species of butterflies and bees are on the path to extinction.

"Path to extinction might be exaggerated, but definitely they're in trouble in some ways", said Nancy Greig, PhD, Director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Since we're talking about pollinators -those creatures that go from flower to flower the same way we go clubbing-, this puts the very future of agriculture and food production at risk.

"So, yes: this could really impact certainly prices of things and maybe availability", she added.

But don't worry: we just need to eliminate the culprit and… oh, wait: it's us, humans.  Forget it.

"The sources of this problem could be global warming, habitat loss, pesticides or a combination of those factors", the expert explained.

The good news is that protecting pollinators is something people can do locally, as opposed to the fight against climate change, which requires internationally coordinated actions.

"Basically it's all about reducing the use of pesticides, especially the neonicotinoids, and also providing habitats for all these species of pollinators", Greig concluded.

Kudos to the U.N. for dealing with our butterflies!  If they could only do the same with Syria, North Korea, ISIS, Ukraine, Boko Haram and Iran, the world would be much, much prettier.

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