In recent years the iconic symbolic monarch butterfly has experienced a precipitous 90% decline in their population. The lowest recorded population was recorded in 2013-2014. That is alarming.
The US government has pledged $3.2 million dollars, two million of which will restore more than 200,000 acres stretching from California to the Corn Belt. This will include more than 750 schoolyard habitats and pollinator gardens. The rest will provide grant money to farmers and other landowners to conserve habitat particularly along the Interstate 35 corridor from Texas to Minnesota. I35 runs along the butterfly’s migration path and provides critical spring and summer habitat. Wonderful!
This is magical yet ubiquitous butterfly present nearly everywhere on Earth that migrates thousands of miles between the US and Mexico every year.
Decimation of its host plant, milkweed, to rampant herbicide use, and by logging and the effects of climate change in Mexico, threatening their water holes, challenge the butterfly.
Tiny oases matter!!! Creation of small organic oases, and the halt (or reduction) of herbicide use, which has decimated the milkweed, exclusive egg laying plant of the monarch, is the key to restoring this species. One garden at a time gives the monarchs a place to rest and feed. It’s that simple for us to participate.
Many scientists studying the monarch feel that legal protection is necessary for its survival. A key pollinator and ecological indicator species, it is also a key to ours.