"Monarch butterfly numbers are plummeting."
Emigrant, MT (PRWEB) September 19, 2012
Monarch butterfly numbers are plummeting. In response, wildlife photographers and founding members of the International League of Conservation Photographers, Dorothy and Leo Keeler, have created and posted a project on Kickstarter.com. Their project, Milkweed for Monarchs Butterfly Garden, is designed to help restore monarch butterflies across North America by offering creative gifts to people who contribute to their butterfly garden project and are inspired to create Monarch Waystations of their own.
“Our goal is to help restore monarch butterflies across North America, starting with our own yard.” says Dorothy Keeler. “Our project will create a Monarch Waystation here, inspire and reward people across the country who plant milkweed, and encourage students and gardeners involvement in helping Monarchs.
Monarch Waystations (monarch habitats) are gardens that include the right plants to support the entire monarch life cycle. This requires milkweed for caterpillars, nectar plants for adults, protection from wind, weather, and predators, and maintenance without the use of pesticides.
“We ask people to join us and are grateful for whatever level of support they feel comfortable with,” says Leo Keeler. “In return, supporters will receive their choice of Custom Milkweed and/or Nectar Seed Packets, Awesome Screen Savers, Museum-quality Photographs, and/or personal time with two passionate conservationists.”
Three things are threatening monarchs as never before:
1) In the last decade, three massive storms have hit central Mexico in January and February, killing from 50 - 80% of the overwintering Monarchs.
2) Development of shopping centers, subdivisions, and factories accounts for an annual loss of over 2 million acres of habitat a year.
3) Monarch butterflies will only lay their eggs on milkweed. In 1996, genetically modified corn and soybeans were introduced that were resistant to an herbicide commonly referred to as Roundup. Milkweed can survive tilling but not Roundup. Over 100 million acres of habitat have been lost due to these genetically modified crops.