Group works to save the monarchs
We have all heard about the importance of pollinators and sometimes that information comes with a warning. Everyone has an opportunity to assist in the elimination of those dire predictions by simply participating in the growing of some weeds and leaving the volunteer milkweeds in the flower bed for Monarch butterflies to appreciate. These bright orange butterflies seem to be the “spokesbug” for the insect world and there are several groups who are promoting the conservation of them along with other pollinators. So why Monarchs?
According to the organization Monarch Joint Venture (www.monarchjointventure.org), these flying beauties are central to the growing of native plants and the preservation of those specific seedlings.
“Creating habitats for monarchs by planting diverse, native nectar plants and milkweed also creates habitat for other pollinators which we rely on for pollination services in agricultural and natural settings,” Monarch Joint Venture group said in some of their literature.
This group “is a partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic programs that are working together to protect the monarch migration across the lower 48 United States.” Part of their mission is to provide habitat conservation in connection with education, research and monitoring of the butterflies. Within their family of websites is www.plantmilkweed.org where they offer information about milkweeds and the myriad of varieties contained inside a specific regional area. They also list businesses that sell the milkweed seeds and plants.
Speaking of seeds, Monarch Watch is ready to share free milkweed seeds with anyone interested in the conservation of monarchs. This group works with waystations, building habitats, tagging and campaigns for saving the species.
Founded in 1992 by Dr. Orley “Chip” Taylor, the tagging program began in the fall of that year. Their mission statement states that the “Monarch Watch strives to provide the public with information about the biology of monarch butterflies, their spectacular migration, and how to use monarchs to further science education in primary and secondary schools. We engage in research on monarch migration biology and monarch population dynamics to better understand how to conserve the monarch migration. We also promote protection of monarch habitats throughout North America.” More information about the group can be found at www.monarchwatch.org.
Another interesting site to visit is www.monarchhighway.org where a map is pictured with the different migration patterns shown.
With the continual decline of habitats for the pollinators including monarchs, there is a need to re-establish prairie plantings and stop spraying chemicals on roadsides. Once these practices are encouraged, there will be reasons for the monarchs to stay and do their jobs again, pollinating the crops for us to eat and bringing along their pollinating friends to help.