When I was 9 years old, my mother took me on a trip to see the monarch butterflies arrive 3 hours west of Mexico City at the El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. It is to date, one of the most beautiful and amazing things I’ve ever seen. Butterflies were EVERYWHERE, if you stood still and held your arms out, dozens would land on you.
It’s one of the earth’s most beautiful and unbelievable migrations, and we may be the last generation to see it…
Monarch butterfly numbers have plummeted since the late ’90s due to the destruction of their habitat by logging as well as decreasing amounts of milkweed. Monarchs need milkweed to survive and planting it also helps other types of butterflies and bees (which we desperately need to save). Monarch butterflies may not be “necessary” to save as much so as bees, but losing what has been called “one of the most spectacular phenomena in the world” would be devastating.
“Starting in September and October, eastern/northeastern populations migrate from southern Canada and the United States to overwintering sites in central Mexico where they arrive around November. They start the return trip in March, arriving around July” (National Geographic).
No individual butterfly completes the entire round trip, the female monarchs along the journey lay eggs for the next generation to continue where they left off.
The monarch butterflies show us how important it is to do things for the next generation, so let’s take a page from their playbook and save them.
Get free milkweed seeds to plant:
“Live Monarch will send 15+ Butterfly Garden seeds including Milkweed and growing instructions even if you cannot afford a contribution, just mail us a self-addressed stamped envelope, one per household.”
(A save the Monarch contribution is greatly appreciated to help offset the cost of the many seeds [they] give away, personally plant, and plants [they] provide to schools)