|Migration starts as an egg - Linda Bower|
|Frick, Frack and frass- REK|
"The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety as co-lead petitioners joined by the Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower filed a legal petition today to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking Endangered Species Act protection for monarch butterflies."Many experts feel that the monarch is not threatened with extinction as it would survive in small numbers in Mexico and our border states. What would likely disappear is the famous annual migration. They depend upon milkweed to reproduce 3-4 times along the migration route, and it is rapidly disappearing. A common "weed" in and along agricultural fields, it has virtually disappeared over many square miles of the migration, the victim of Roundup ready crops. Meanwhile, the remaining land is being urbanization, neighborhoods, golf courses and rural homes with 10 acre lots, all mowed and weeded.
While looking for some large scale answers, you can start to help the migration in your own small way.
- Plant milkweed in your garden, land, ditches and roadsides. The time to plant is in the fall as the seeds have to cold stratify (freeze and thaw) to germinate.
- Avoid the use of insecticides on flowers where butterflies obtain nectar.
- Consider raising Monarch butterflies. There is a high mortality in nature on their journey from egg and caterpillar to adulthood, much of which can be avoided by home rearing.