I recently read somewhere that alexandrae is now found in seven localities, all around the popendeta area, but it's not established itself into the surrounding forest, it's last known colony has been so destroyed by oil palm plantations that the colony has been split into seven much smaller populations in remnants of its last habitat, CITES doesn't protect the habitat, of course conservationists will see this as a victory and claim its increased 7 fold since it was protected, I can't find the web page again to post a link, I'll keep trying.
Extinction of any species can happen at a alarming rate, even to really common things but especially to localized species. Good examples are the Passenger Pigeon, the Great Auk and the Dodo, the more famous of them all. All and most extinctions have been because of homo sapiens. Personally as regards O. alexandrae, the only thing I care about is that it does not become extinct. The largest and most magnificent of the World's butterflies. I believe without a shadow of a doubt, this species is doomed, the areas where it occurs are just too small. I hope this extinction will not happen in my lifetime but it will. Those that poach this insect and sell them on the black market are the same people that would shoot a rhino to make a buck.
Human being don't care about other earth's creatures. We are the aliens on this planet . The higher profits that is the target not conservation. If Papuans lords could make more cash from selling birdwings I am sure they would make farming more common. If oil palm is the way to be more rich...the alexadrae will be soon the dinosaur of our time.
The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) also called "milkweed butterfly" is a magnificent and beautiful creature; one of the largest in the US. It also used to be quite common. It requires milkweed plants for depositing its eggs and for its food. Because farmers have been using weed-killers indiscriminately milkweed has become nearly extinct in the meadows and acres of planted crops. And so, the Monarch is now endangered. ALAS !
I may be wrong but I don't believe they are listed as endangered yet. I always see good numbers of monarchs here in northern Indiana. Also, I see milkweed abundantly, roadsides, field edges, etc.
In early fall 2014 (ie. the last time I was in Canada) there were good numbers of Monarchs crossing the North Channel of Lake Huron. Their numbers may be in decline, but I'd be incredibly surprised if they were anywhere near being truly endangered.