Pollinators are in trouble (they make the majority of our food) and 90% of the monarch butterfly population is down.
Pollinators, of which the monarch butterfly is a part of, are mostly responsible for all the food that we eat. While monarchs are found across the United States — as recently as 1996 numbering some 1 billion — their numbers have declined by approximately 90 percent in recent years, a result of numerous threats, particularly loss of habitat due to agricultural practices, development and cropland conversion. Degradation of wintering habitat in Mexico and California has also had a negative impact on the species.
This is why the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), has launched a new Campaign.
NWF’s new Butterfly Hero Campaign, launched earlier this month, and asks people to submit a photo of themselves making the international sign language sign of the butterfly on NWF’s Butterfly Heroes website, By taking the pledge, participants will be mailed a free kit (while supplies last, they have 50,000 to send!) to make their own butterfly garden, to help not only the Monarch, but other butterflies!
In the Butterfly Garden kit you will receive:
-Seed packet with native milkweed or a flowering nectar plant (supplied by
Botanical Interests)- Monarchs drink nectar from flowers and their caterpillars eat only milkweed
- A list of milkweed and nectar plants native to your region -Ask your garden center for the best plants on the list to add to your garden, to make it even more enticing!
- a Ranger Rick Nature Notebook- Observe your garden and the butterflies, caterpillars, and other wildlife that make it their new home!
- Butterfly Heroes Sticker and Poster- Show your Butterfly Hero Pride!
Monarch butterflies spend winter in Mexico or Central and Southern California, and then migrate north in spring into neighborhoods across the United States. They need places to rest their wings, drink flower nectar, and lay their eggs on milkweed which their baby caterpillars eat. Monarchs are losing this habitat, and without it the Monarch cannot survive. NWF is asking that people across the United States to plant milkweed to preserve the monarch’s habitat, even if you don't get one of the starter kits! Learn more about NWF’smonarch protection efforts at NWF.org/Monarchs and http://www.nwf.org/pollinators
We made our pledge and hope you will too!
So does Disney! If you enter a photo of your pledge by May 15th, you will automatically become eligible for a to win a trip for four to Walt Disney World. Now that is a bonus, that we can all enjoy! Think of it as paying it forward for all YOUR help to save the Monarch and other pollinators!
And to reward YOU for taking part in this important program, I have a gorgeous Canadian Monarch butterfly print from the Loxly Gallery, for one lucky BTHM reader, donated by our family!
About the print:
Canadian Monarch (Monarch-LG): This fourth print was taken by Mike Montalvo and it shows a gorgeous orange Monarch on a Pink Flowering tree. Montalvo says it was “taken on a windy day. It took me about 2 hours to take this picture, as the tree was moving. I followed the Monarch all over the tree. This was taken at the Experimental Farm in
Ottawa .” Canada
About National Wildlife Federation
National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization, inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future. The Butterfly Heroes Campaign part of a number of programs designed to inspire people to get outdoors, help wildlife, and become more aware of the nature in their neighborhood and community. NWF has worked to connect people with nature for decades, inspiring people through Ranger Rick magazine, working with educators to get kids greening their schools and learning outdoors. Check out their website for info on all their programs!
NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program encourages responsible gardening that helps pollinators and other wildlife thrive. It encourages planting with native species like milkweed and discouraging chemical pesticide use. With nearly 200,000 locations and growing, NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitats and Community wildlife Habitats recognize individuals, schools, groups and whole communities committed to providing habitat for wildlife, including pollinators. Each of the nearly 200,000 certified locations provides food, water, cover and places to raise young. This makes yards, schools, businesses, faith-based organizations, campuses, parks, farms and other community-based landscapes into wildlife sanctuaries.