How to save the monarch butterfly

Every year monarch butterflies take 2 months and travel more than 2,000 miles from parts of Canada and the US to various hibernating locations south of the border, in Michoacán and the State of Mexico. According to a recent World Wildlife Foundation study, last December the number of migrating monarchs declined 44%, inhabiting only 1.65 acres of Mexican forest, the lowest number of recorded butterflies since the record keeping began 20 years ago. Instead of sitting back and watching these numbers fall even farther, here are some ways anyone can help.
Eating organic isn’t just better for you, but helps the environment. Herbicides used in farming have killed off large amounts of milkweed, a main staple for monarch larvae. Buying organic means that no herbicides were used to grow your food, so you won’t have to worry about inadvertently playing a roll in the monarch’s decline.
Set up a place for monarchs to stay. The mating grounds and hibernation areas of monarch butterflies have been impacted substantially, a major contributor to the dwindling monarch population. Setting up a Waystation in your backyard filled with milkweed and nectar pants will give monarchs a place to rest on their cross-country flight. Waystation Seed Kits can be purchased to make the setup easier.
When buying wood make sure it’s FSC-Certified. The Mexican government has set aside large amounts of forest specifically for the monarch butterfly population, but illegal logging is putting these wildlife habitats in danger. Purchasing FSC-Certified wood will guarantee the wood was not taken illegally from a protected forest.
Go green in every possible instance. Extreme climate conditions brought about by global warming have made a sizable impact on the monarch population. Every drop of gas saved, every piece of paper recycled helps reduce global warming, and plays a part in saving the monarch butterflies.
Photo: Wikicommons
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