How to Help Monarch Butterflies

  • Plant milkweed. Milkweed is the only plant that monarch butterflies can lay their eggs on. Used to be there was a lot of milkweed growing on the butterfly migration route through the United States to Canada. But when genetically modified seeds doused with Roundup took over the Corn Belt, the number of monarch butterflies making it to Mexico each year started dropping. There’s no incentive for farmers to plant weeds. We have to pick up the slack. Monarch Watch has information about where to buy milkweed.
  • Get other people to plant milkweed and other native plants that provide nectar for butterflies. Or at least get them to agree not to cut them or spray them with poison. Many are talking about creating more butterfly habitat by getting state highway systems to stop mowing highway medians [PDF] in stretches where visibility is not a safety issue. Others have gotten their local legislative bodies to take a Save Our Pollinators pledge. Still others are asking for more governmental regulation of the pesticides that have helped turn so much of North America into a dead zone devoid of wild life.
  • Come see the butterflies in Mexico. In the first place, they are amazing. In the second place, when you stay with us in our community, you generate employment in environmentally sustainable tourism that can in turn motivate our neighbors to stop deforesting the biosphere reserve. Finally, it is also our hope that witnessing this incredible yet endangered natural phenomenon will inspire you work with others to defend our fragile, intricately interconnected ecosystem.
Monarch butterfly meadow
Monarch butterfly meadow