The Monarch butterfly population has decreased by billions in the past 25 years. This is how officials hope to prevent the species from becoming extinct.
Whether it’s due to the rampant spraying of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, or the increase electromagnetic waves from over-excessive technological use causing the Monarch population to decline, most will agree it is past time the endangered species be protected before it becomes extinct.
And in the United States, White House officials have developed a plan of how to do that.
They plan to line I-35, the highway that extends from Mexico to Minnesota, with milkweed, the Monarch’s favorite plant for shelter and food. Once the butterflies are drawn into the corridor, they will have a decreased risk of being hit by a speeding car on the interstate.
Said Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dan Ashe, “Reversing the decline won’t be easy, but we can do it.”
With nearly a billion Monarch butterflies gone in the last 25 years, this species has seen a dramatic decrease in its numbers. And like the vanishing bees, their presence is essential for the vital pollination and health of our ecosystem. The main threat for these butterflies is the loss of their habitat, according to the federal agency.
I-35 was chosen as the ideal location for the butterfly corridor because it is the path the Monarchs take when doing their 2,000 mile-long migration. And the flat roadside vegetation is perfectly suited for the animals. Ashe asks, however, for everyone to do their part by adding Monarch friendly plants to the space that surrounds them.
“We can make habitat for the Monarch butterfly in backyards, in schoolyards, in city, county, state and national parks, in wildlife refuges, forests, along rights of way, along roadways, basically along the side of every tiny patch of open space,” said Ashe. “And the magic is if we make the habitat, the Monarch butterflies will come.”
In addition to the plan, the White House included $1.2 million of the Monarch Conservation Fund, a National Fish and Wildlife Service project that aims to protect the pollinators. $2 million was dedicated to the restoration of habitats so that the species can once again flourish.
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