In October, millions of monarch butterflies will make a long migration from Canada to Mexico, many stopping in Santa Cruz, Pacific Grove, and Big Sur along the way.
We’ve framed the environmental problem the wrong way. There is no environment out there and we’re here, and we’ve got to regulate our interaction with it.
We are the environment. There is no distinction. What we are doing to our surroundings, we’re doing directly to ourselves.
As we dream of our summer gardens, it’s time to consider adding some milkweeds. Milkweed flowers look like something from another planet: Sputnik-like bundles of little blossoms with curved prongs in pink, orange, purple and white.
At least five milkweed species connect Flagstaff to the annual migration of monarch butterflies up and down North America. In fact the Southwest Monarch Study pinpoints Flagstaff as a “monarch hotspot.”
The migratory monarch butterfly population has been decimated in recent years, with a total population decline of 90 percent over the past two decades.
But the dying butterflies are a bellweather for even bigger environmental damage.
We are writing to further engage you in taking more immediate and larger scale actions to help farmers recover milkweeds and other native plants for threatened monarchs. These same plantings will also help recover populations of native bees and honeybees required by farmers.
While we are grateful to specific individuals on your team who have already affirmed their commitments to positive change, we remain concerned by the mixed messages coming from your organization as a whole.
As organic fruit farmers, John and I are very appreciative of our farming partners, the native pollinators and honey bees that do extensive work on our farm. We have tried to develop the farm as a holistic ecosystem and take seriously the charge of being stewards of the land during our tenure here.
About seven years ago, we noticed a decline in bumble bee and other native bee populations.
The next time you’re tooling down the highway somewhere in America, take a look around: Those miles of medians and roadsides along our highways offer unexpected environmental benefits.
All those broad, green strips along the nation’s highways turn out be vital habitats for many small critters, as well as pollinators including bees, butterflies and birds.
The David Suzuki Foundation is calling on governments and rail, road and hydro agencies across Canada to join the growing ranks of milkweed lovers who are rallying to support monarch butterfly conservation.
Over the past month, U.S. federal and state agencies have made encouraging announcements, including a commitment of US$3.2 million for programs to grow milkweed — the plant monarchs depend on — in schoolyards and gardens and on highway roadsides from Mexico to Minnesota.
In the U.S. alone, there are more than 17,000,000 acres along federal, state and county highways that can potentially…
I will be on a LIQUIDS-ONLY FAST until December 20th, until Monarch butterflies are ensured enough milkweeds to lay eggs on and eat; THEN I WON’T EAT!
Today begins a season of fasting in remembrance of the fact that after a year of hand-wringing about monarch butterfly and milkweed declines, there is no substantial reorientation in our use of agricultural chemicals impacting them, no fewer acres going out of milkweed habitat and into ethanol production or urban development, and far less than 1000 acres of new milkweed habitat has been planted this year to offset the damage and deferred maintenance of healthy habitat that monarchs have suffered the last 15 years.
As 2014’s National Pollinator Week begins, it is time to think critically about what constitutes tangible actions and credible research on behalf of monarch conservation in the midst of a key moment in American conservation history. Many conservationists fear that green-washing and tokenism will distract the public from supporting the essential work…
Eighteen months after the Tres Amigos (Mexican, U.S., and Canadian leaders) agreed to collaborate one monarch butterfly recovery, we can at least see this vision reaching across borders to take hold at the grass roots level. Thanks to technical and financial support from many agencies, universities and non-profits, August 2015 was the season for hands-on…
It’s a welcome summer sight: butterflies fluttering from flower to flower. But we could be seeing less of them. A study released today points a finger at road salt.
According to the study, researchers from University of Minnesota found butterflies that were fed a high-sodium diet only had a 10 percent survival rate, compared to a 40 percent to 50 percent survival rate for butterflies that were fed low-to-medium sodium diets.
Every autumn, millions of monarch butterflies migrate south to the forested uplands of central Mexico’s Sierra Madre Occidental range.
Historically, so many butterflies make the journey — some from as far north as Canada — that researchers cannot possibly count them all.
Monarch numbers are declining; this decline is statistically significant (Brower et al. 2012) and readily apparent from data on the area occupied by monarchs on the overwintering roost in Mexico.
While we saw more monarchs during the summer of 2014 than we did last year or the year before, and will thus hopefully see more in Mexico this winter, it’s unlikely that the population will be anywhere near as large as it was a decade ago.
Habitat loss and the destruction of native plants have been responsible for the rapid decline of the monarch butterfly, the most recognized butterfly in North America. To help protect these majestic insects as they migrate, citizens in the U.S. are resorting to a simple yet powerful tool: gardening.
Gardens full of milkweed and nectar plants can serve both as rest stops for adult monarchs and as nurseries for their eggs.