Six Ways to Save Monarchs
With their vibrant orange-and-black wings, the monarch butterfly is one of North America’s most iconic species. But monarch butterflies are in trouble. Over the last few decades, populations have declined by over 90 percent and they have recently been added to the endangered species list.
Like all butterflies, monarchs lay their eggs on select plants, called “host plants.” These are the only plants their caterpillars eat, and for monarchs, milkweed is their only host plant.
Unfortunately, milkweed is becoming harder for monarchs to find. Despite being ecologically important and ornamental wildflower, many consider milkweed just that, a weed. Even when milkweed isn’t being targeted directly, monarch habitat is gobbled up by development. Monarchs are also being directly killed by pesticides, both as caterpillars and as adult butterflies in farmlands and backyards.
This, coupled with threats to the monarchs’ overwintering grounds in Mexico and California, has resulted in the precipitous decline of the insect’s population in North America.
There is hope for the monarch, if we act now. The National Wildlife Federation and its partners are taking on the challenge, and we need your help.
Keep reading for Six Ways to Save Monarchs with NWF
Here are six ways that you can join the effort to make a difference for monarchs.
NWF is committed to restoring the monarch’s habitat with your help. The scale of monarch habitat decline is vast, but by engaging communities in recovery efforts and empowering people to grow native plants like milkweed in the places where they live, work, learn, play, and worship, we can make a difference.