This is the 6th and final blog in the Spring 2017 Face the Future blog series:
Plant Milkweed for the Monarch Butterfly
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
Monarch Butterfly Numbers Down Again 🙁
The number of monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico dropped by 27 percent this year, reversing last year’s recovery from historically low numbers, according to a study by government and independent experts released in February 2017.
The experts say the decline could be due to late winter storms last year that blew down more than 100 acres (40 hectares) of forests where migrating monarch butterflies spend the winter in central Mexico.
Millions of monarchs make the 3,400-mile (5,500-kilometer) migration from the United States and Canada each year, and they cluster tightly in the pine and fir forests west of Mexico City. They are counted not by individuals, but by the area they cover.
Another problem has been the loss of milkweed—the plant monarchs rely on for food—in the United States and Canada, because of the increased use of herbicides and the conversion of land to development.
The loss of forests in Mexico and milkweed north of the border has proved devastating.
For further details, please click here to read the entire report.
What you can do…
Plant milkweed in your garden!
In their early caterpillar stage, the monarch’s source of food is the milkweed plant (World Wildlife Fund). Butterflies will usually lay their eggs on milkweed plants so that once they hatch, the caterpillar can start feeding on the milkweed leaves. Once the butterflies turn into adults, they can start sipping the nectar from the flowers.
Where to Find Milkweed Seeds
One place you can order milkweed seeds on-line is through the Save our Monarchs website.
The goal of the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway Project is to provide food and shelter for butterflies and bees by establishing a network of wildflower patches through neighbourhoods across Canada, starting in five cities in 2017.
This Mother’s Day, send the moms in your life a beautiful, original card. Your gift will help the Butterflyway Project welcome butterflies and other pollinators across Canada.
For further info on all things pertaining to milkweed and Monarch butterflies, please check out this link.
Face the Future is an on-line environmental awareness campaign that raises awareness about how and why individuals can lessen their environmental footprint one step at a time.