Goal: Grow flowers and milkweed to save declining monarch butterfly population.
It has become almost common knowledge to Americans that the monarch butterfly population is swiftly declining. Due to habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change these colorful butterflies are dying. Their disappearance spells disaster for our landscape, as butterflies are essential for plant growth. Butterflies, like bees, help pollinate our flowers and crops. They are also a source of food for predators and if these butterflies disappear completely it will throw a gigantic wrench into our ecosystem. Fortunately, the public can do their part for the monarch butterfly by simply planting flowers and milkweed on their property. By signing this petition you pledge to grow these plants in an effort to save this species, and publicly show your support for their continued survival.
The monarch butterfly’s population began to decline when Americans began planting soy and corn crops. Acres and acres of farmland were filled with these crops, but to the monarch butterfly these were barren wastelands. While the monarch butterfly can readily eat from a variety of different flowers, the larvae can only eat milkweed. Farmers removed this precious plant from their fields, thereby starving the larvae and killing off the butterfly population. Couple this problem with pesticide use and experts predict that monarch butterflies will have a difficult time rebounding. In 2013 alone, experts found that the monarch butterfly population had decreased by a whopping 57 percent. It will take a massive effort to bring the monarch butterfly back to its normal numbers.
Insect lovers have taken up the task of planting flowers and milkweed not just for butterflies, but for the bees as well. Unfortunately, some are planting the wrong kind of milkweed, referred to as tropical milkweed. It is produced by various gardening companies because of how long it remains blooming. While monarch butterflies do eat this kind of milkweed, it makes the butterflies sedentary because it remains alive far longer than native species, meaning they are not inclined to migrate.
If you choose to plant milkweed in your homes, please ensure that the plant — and other flowers — are native to your region. While it is terrific to hear of insect lovers doing what they can for the monarch butterfly, it is crucial that the solution is executed correctly and safely. If you want to do your part for the species, and wish to make your support known, please sign this petition.
I am writing this letter to inform you of the plight of the monarch butterfly. This insect is known for its vibrant orange wings, and used to be plentiful in Canada and the United States. Unfortunately, their numbers are declining due to human activity. Due to the planting of corn and soybean crops, along with pesticide use, and destruction of habitat, the monarch butterflies are disappearing. We can aid in their survival by planting native flowers and milkweed plants, which the butterflies feed upon.
I urge you to grow these plants on your property, as it will benefit everyone in the nation, not just the butterflies. These creatures are pollinators, and are responsible for the well being of our ecosystem. Please do all you can to save them, as their disappearance will bring doom to our environment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tiago J. G. Fernandes via Wikimedia Commons