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article imageCall on Canada to save the monarch butterfly Special

By Tim Sandle     Mar 7, 2015 in Environment
Toronto - A charitable body is calling upon the government of Canada to take action to protect the monarch butterfly. This is in response to dwindling numbers of the colorful insect.
The David Suzuki Foundation, an environmental pressure group and charitable body, is requesting the Canadian government, along with agencies responsible for transport and water, to support monarch butterfly conservation. The primary issue is the loss of milkweed.
Milkweed is a plant is named for its milky sap. Milkweeds are an important nectar source for native bees, wasps, and other nectar-seeking insects. They are seen as essential for butterfly populations, like the monarch. The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly. Its wings feature an easily recognizable orange and black pattern. Population counts show a decline in Monarch populations at their overwintering sites, an issue associated with the loss of milkweed. It has been estimated that the monarch butterfly population has fallen from one billion in the 1990s to around 3 million.
In the U.S., federal agencies have committed $3.2 million for programs to grow milkweed. Campaigners now want Canada to take similar measures. According to David Suzuki Foundation director Faisal Moola: "We've lost almost a billion monarch butterflies in the past two decades, and the migration to Canada is in serious jeopardy.”
Moola added: “We simply cannot afford to wait; it’s time for Canada to step up conservation efforts."
The primary solution, the David Suzuki Foundation states, is to plant milkweed and pollinator-friendly native plants along road, rail and hydro corridors. This will create what are called “butterflyways.” The Foundation wants to encourage agencies in Canada, with the backing of the government, to put these measures in place. The Foundation itself recently ran a “Got Milkweed” campaign where some 4,000 milkweed plants were planted in key locations.
The call for this type of action is in keeping with the “Three Amigos Summit,” a trilateral working group between the U.S., Mexico and Canada which has focused on conservation plans for the monarch butterfly.
More about Monarch butterfly, Butterfly, Milkweed
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