Success: Monarch Butterflies Have Renewed Hope for Survival

Target: Emilie Snell-Rood, Associate Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota

Goal: Continue seeking solutions that could save the monarch butterfly from extinction.

Monarch butterflies, some of America’s most important pollinators, could go extinct in a couple of decades. Populations have already plummeted by as much as 97 percent. This ForceChange petition implored action in rescuing this endangered species. One state is listening.

Monarchs have begun their yearly southern migration. In key northern migration state Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has taken needed steps to help boost numbers for these butterflies. These actions include diversifying roadside plants to include more of the types critical for the monarch’s survival, most notably milkweed. Perhaps more crucially, the department is keeping a close watch on a University of Minnesota study that could benefit these at-risk pollinators even more.

The research studies how roadside salts that get stored in milkweed help and hurt monarch butterflies. While extremely high levels of the sodium found in salt can harm the butterflies’ development, lower levels of the substance can potentially make the monarchs stronger and thus more likely to survive their migration. Once they have acquired the results of this study, the transportation department can then make easy, cost-effective adjustments to their road salt supplies and to the placement of roadside milkweed. The Minnesota model could serve as a promising template for other monarch-saving measures across the country.

Sign this petition to support the efforts of the scientists who are working for the survival of nature’s most majestic pollinators.


Dear Professor Snell-Rood,

Your continued research with monarch butterflies demonstrates that your team, better than most, recognizes the immense value of these living beings in and of themselves and as a booster for so many plants. The prospects of monarch butterflies receiving desperately needed protections from placement on the endangered species list remain grim. Thanks to dedicated advocates like you, however, the prognosis for these important butterflies is far more promising.

Some statistics seem to solidify this hope, pointing to rising numbers of monarchs in comparison to recent years. The reversal of a too-damaging trend can only move forward with the involvement of dedicated professionals like you. Please stay vigilant in these efforts and in hopefully swaying transportation officials to more essential changes.

Help make this migration season the best one yet….the one that marks a new beginning.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Kenneth Dwain

One Comment

  1. Evan Jane Kriss says:

    Finally, some encouraging news about monarch butterflies! I am grateful for these efforts, and pray they are successful.

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