18 species whose populations may be in trouble will get a review for threatened or endangered status from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The agency was court mandated to finalize dates for reviewing the status of various species across the country, including the Chesapeake region, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. In hearings to be held between 2022 and 2026, USFWS will be assessing whether these species should be listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act .
Two Bay-region species that are included are the monarch butterfly and the Bethany Beach firefly. Both will be assessed in 2024.
The ever-popular monarch butterflies occur throughout North America. The populations east of the Rocky Mountains migrate 3,000 miles every fall, leaving Canada to overwinter in Mexico. Some of them will fly through the Chesapeake Bay region along the way, looking for nectar in patches of asters and goldenrods.