If, like me, you have always wanted to see the epic migration of the monarch butterflies, you may have missed the boat. The monarch butterfly population has been around for 25 000 years, but the last 15 has seen their numbers dwindling dramatically. The genetically modified herbicide, Round-up Ready* has been utilized by farmers to kill the milkweed on which the little madames usually lay their eggs.
Not only are the milkweed plants a problem, the 60-mile stretch of Mexico where the butterflies like to winter is being destroyed by illegal logging. It seems that Michoacáns near the state’s 12 butterfly reserves are desperate for resources and are clearing the pines which have played host to the monarchs for centuries. Activists are working on the US side to mitigate the effects of Round-up Ready and create monarch way stations where milkweed is grown on everything from a convention center roof in Pittsburgh to Debbie Jackson’s backyard in Davisburg.
The WWF pays the Michoacán villagers to protects the butterfly reserves and prevent illegal logging. Ecolife provides them with stoves which require less pine and fir wood for cooking and the Roseville, Minn.-based Monarch Butterfly Fund plants 30,000 seedlings per year in this threatened forest region.
You can help by planting milkweed or (if you don’t have space for a milkweed garden) consider lobbing a couple of seed bombs out the window in a drive-by milkweeding. You can buy them here or make your own.
Like green living and want to help?
Donate to the World Wildlife Fund Monarch Butterfly Program here.
Support the Ecolife Monarch Butterfly stove program here.
Plant a milkweed garden or support the Rosewood pine seedling program here.
See Peter Park’s film trailer for “Flight of the Butterflies” here.
*Oh what’s that you say? Round-up Ready is made by corporate evil genius Monsanto? Of course it is!
Need some good karma? ‘Like’ us on Facebook and get more good vibes than you can shake a sharp stick at!
Nikki, thank you for mentioning my seed bombs above. Unfortunately, I do not sell them, but I do provide a simple recipe in the link you’ve provided. These little nuggets of clay, compost and native seed are a great way to create habitats for monarchs and other native species.