Helping Monarch Butterflies (Conservation)
Monarch butterflies only lay their eggs on milkweed, and caterpillars only eat milkweed. But humans donít seem to like milkweed very much and are cutting it down for various reasons. Sometimes humans cut down milkweed in order to build houses, buildings and streets. Sometimes the milkweed is cut down when trees are removed to harvest the wood. In recent years there have been a lot of wildfires that have destroyed a lot of milkweed. Humans cut milkweed down in their own yards because it doesnít smell very good or they think it is a weed. But these humans donít realize that monarch butterflies need the milkweed in order to survive, and the monarch butterfly population is dwindling.
The humans who do realize how much the monarch butterfly population is in danger because of the disappearing milkweed are doing something about it, and you can, too. These people are called conservationists. What they do is purchase some land or even set aside a piece of their own land, and they plant milkweed on the land as well as everything else that is needed for the monarch butterflies to live and grow in a natural habitat. You can help the monarch butterflies by asking your parents for a small portion of a back corner of your yard for a monarch butterfly conservation area. You can plant milkweed for the monarch butterflies, and perhaps a nice butterfly bush to attract the monarch butterflies to your conservation corner. Before you know it you will be hosting new generations of beautiful monarch butterflies every few months.
Conservationists have created many projects to protect Monarch butterfly, most often through permission to use land for conservation. Some work with government agencies and local people to establish land protection and educate people about helping Monarchs. You can visit the Michoacan Reforestation and Habitat Protection Fund, which is a project to help balance the needs of Monarchs with the needs of people who live where the butterflies like to spend the winter. Also, the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary Foundation who gives financial and scientific support for preserving the overwintering ground of eastern Monarch butterflies.