Cause: Pollinators & Butterflies
75% of agricultural crops and almost 90% of flowering plants depend on pollination. Colorful butterflies, along with bees and other pollinators, help ecosystems thrive—but they have been declining at an alarming rate. Pollination is the transfer of pollen from a plant to a stigma, ovule, flower, or other plant, usually by bees and butterflies, to allow fertilization. The pollination of plants is responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. "The plants are dependent on bees and butterflies in the pollination process". Without the process of pollination, and the active insects that do the pollinating, much of the world’s vital resources (food, oils, fibers, raw materials) would slowly become scarce. Pollinator species are declining at an alarming rate due to global warming and habitat fragmentation. We support The Xerces Society, which works to conserve invertebrates and their habitats by regenerating native landscapes, in turn promoting a vibrant food system.
“I grew up in a family of ‘green thumbs’, but never really considered myself, quote: “into gardening”...until we bought our home in St. Petersburg, Florida, the birthplace of No Animals. The backyard was bare, but it had so much potential. While I was learning about the different types of plants, I started learning about the pollination crisis and how it impacts the vital sources of how we humans survive. So, I started by choosing plants with a purpose. Then I started studying and asking my local nursery all of the questions about pollination and plants that allow bees and butterflies to pollinate (thank you, Winston, at Willow Tree Nursery) . In the Spring, I’ll spend entire Sundays in that garden. I love looking for caterpillars (larva) and documenting their feeding journeys in my journal. I try to find each pupa in my butterfly bushes and watch closely until they emerge from their cocoon as a beautiful butterfly. I want to give everyone the opportunity to experience that joy through their purchases.”
MONARCH MIGRATION & HOW YOU CAN HELP
There are still many unknowns about the monarch’s migration. You can help match scientists to monarchs, by recording and sharing your monarch observations, you are a citizen scientist and you can contribute to our understanding of the monarch butterfly migration.
BECOME A CITIZEN SCIENTIST
Citizen scientists make large-scale studies possible by providing voluntary data, time, and other resources at continental scales over several years. Monarchs and citizen science have been closely tied for decades. Starting in the 1950s, hundreds of volunteers with Dr. Fred Urquhart’s Insect Migration Association searched for the then mysterious overwintering grounds of migrating monarchs. This tagging project allowed Urquhart to track the flights of individual butterflies, and ultimately led to the 1975 discovery that monarchs from the northern U.S. and southern Canada were overwintering in central Mexico.
Today, thousands of volunteers tag monarchs through Monarch Watch. Play a part in ensuring a future filled with monarchs. Learn more from the Monarch Joint Venture about opportunities to participate in monarch citizen science efforts in the U.S.