Monarchs are making a comeback!
Every autumn, the Monarch butterfly makes an unbelievable 2,500 mile journey from as far north as Canada to head for the warmer weather in Mexico. Sadly, over the last 20 years, the Monarch population has dropped 90% due to illegal logging and a pesticide that destroyed milkweed plants, which Monarchs need in order to feed and lay their eggs.
However, after a summit in February of 2014, The U.S., Canada, and Mexico have come together to protect these beautiful bugs by cracking down on illegal loggers and restricted pesticide use.
The U.S. has also spent $3.2 million to restore 200,000 acres of Monarch habitat stretching from California to the Midwest — including 750 new habitats formed in schoolyards. More than a million dollars of that fund went toward paying farmers to maintain habitat for the butterflies.
Thanks to everyone’s efforts, Monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico could nearly quadruple this year!!! “We are calculating that three to four times more butterflies will arrive compared to last year,” Mexican Environment Secretary Rafael Pacchiano said in a press conference.
“The magic of the monarch butterfly is that little patches matter,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said in announcing the fund back in February. He said tiny patches of habitat “can make a difference on a continental scale.”
The goad, said US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, is "225 million monarch butterflies returning right here to Mexico every year. We believe we can get there by working together and it sounds like we may be on our way, we hope."