In addition to all of the dangers that other butterflies face, the Monarch butterfly is in big trouble.
- Massive sections of the forest in Mexico (where Monarchs spend their winter) are being cut down.
- Milkweed, once plentiful in the wild, is being mowed down and treated with weed killer. This leaves the migrating Monarchs no place to lay their eggs.
- In addition, many chemicals are being used to treat lawns and gardens all over the USA, and these chemicals kill not only the Monarchs, but other pollinators as well, such as hummingbirds and many kinds of bees.
You might have seen or heard about petitions to make the Monarch an Endangered Species. While that sounds like a good idea at first, it’s actually not. If Monarchs were placed on the Endangered Species List, then no one would be able to raise them in their home, classroom, or on farms specifically designed to protect healthy eggs, caterpillars, chrysalids and butterflies. There are stiff penalties for touching or raising any animal on the Endangered Species List.
What you CAN do to help is pretty simple. The more of these that you can do (and encourage others to do), the more likely it is that the dwindling Monarch population will make a full recovery.
- Plant a variety of milkweed in your yard. Don’t use insecticides on or near them.
- Plant a variety of nectar flowers that butterflies enjoy in your yard. Don’t use insecticides on or near them.
- Use natural compost for fertilization instead of store-bought chemicals.
Watch this video. On your packet, list one fact from the video.
This is Station #9.
Curious to Learn More?
Check out these NINE videos from Arkive: Monarch Butterfly Videos
This video is an hour long, but it’s pretty amazing: Documentary 2014 –
The Incredible Story of the Monarch Butterfly – Four Wings and a Prayer