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Monsanto donates $4M to effort to save monarch butterflies

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Agribusiness giant Monsanto Co. says it will commit $4 million to help stem the decline of monarch butterflies.

The St. Louis-based company says a $3.6 million donation will be made to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund. One-third of the money matches what a federal wildlife agency is contributing, with the remaining funds set aside to mirror what other federal agencies offer over the next three years.

Monsanto also is offering $400,000 to aid experts and groups working on the butterfly’s behalf.

Environmentalists and scientists say the species has experienced a 90 percent decline in population.

Most of the decline is blamed on habitat destruction due in part to weed killers and herbicide-resistant plants like those Monsanto and other agribusinesses offer.