The Now Endangered Monarch Butterfly
With the monarch population on steady decline, we are taking a personal investment in spreading awareness and providing knowledge about their importance in our ecosystem and how we can help. We hope you will join us!
In addition to their beauty, monarch butterflies play an extremely significant role in our ecosystem. As pollinators, their migration across the continent offers an invaluable service. Because of these gorgeous critters, we enjoy the presence of a wide variety of flowers, but also some of our favorite fruits and vegetables (squash and blueberries, to name a few). Their decline also has a direct impact on our bird population, as they serve as an excellent food source for our flying friends. There is an obvious chain reaction here, and it brings a largely negative outcome.
What’s Happening to the Monarch Butterfly?
The loss of milkweed plants and their winter habitat, climate change and the use of herbicides and pesticides have a direct impact on the monarch population. While they feed on a variety of plants, they actually lay their eggs on milkweed plants. However, milkweeds are often eradicated as an annoying weed. Growing cities, industrial areas and large-scale farms in addition to drought conditions have taken out a huge portion of the milkweed population. The monarchs’ loss of a consistent winter habitat in Mexico and California is also causing their population to shrink at an alarming rate. This is a result of extremely harsh weather, deforestation, and spreading of development, among other disruptions. The use of pesticides and herbicides also negatively impact our monarch population. Climate change also plays a major role in their decline - especially over the last decade. The changes in our climate have resulted in a variety of drastic weather changes, all of which has taken out a large number of the butterfly population as a whole.
So, how do we help?
The first two things we encourage you to do is to 1) educate yourself and 2) spread the word! The more you know, the more you can do and maybe even change! If you have strong knowledge about the monarch population and how you can help, you can better educate others. And, if we are lucky, they might follow suit! While it’s a big commitment, we also encourage our Art family to start their own butterfly gardens and work to specifically attract Monarchs, too. The first step in that process is to plant MILKWEED for the monarchs to lay their eggs and provide nectar from flower producing plants. In addition to planting milkweed, there is a wide variety of other plants needed to attract them into your garden. You will need 5 host plants in addition to milkweed and 4 nectar producing plants per season. Check out the below document for more information on specific plants.
You can also come in and see us for assistance! Our team members would love to assist! We have an older blog post on butterfly gardens you may also find helpful. Finally, reducing/ eliminating your use of herbicides and pesticides would prove highly beneficial in protecting the endangered monarch.
As previously mentioned, our team members would love to provide more information and assist in any way possible. With the help of all our Art Family, we could help in saving these beautiful and necessary creatures. Join us today!