Over the past two decades the Monarch butterfly population in the Midwest has seen a decline of nearly 80%! This is a large decline, and many blame the agricultural industry for taking land with milkweed and turning it in to farm land. Not only this but with new herbicides and chemicals being used in modern farming practices it further eliminated milkweed plants. Milkweed is the only food source for Monarch Butterfly. Because of this drastic decline and the cause clearly known, the Midwest has made a pledge to plant 1.3 BILLION milkweed plants by 2038. With a borderline endangered species this is a big deal.
Some may think “It’s just a butterfly, whats the big deal.” For all of us that love the out doors there are numerous reasons we should want them and take the time to support this initiative. From beauty to pest control and balancing an ecosystem, these flying beauties do a lot for our natural surroundings. Believe it or not, they could even heavily influence our fish and deer populations if they went away for good. The link Below provides more information on why butterflies are so important.
Iowa is leading the conservation efforts at this point with an ambitious goal. They plan to plant somewhere between 127 and 188 million new milkweed plants. On top of this they hope to develope around 480,000 acres of butterfly habitat. The goal is for this project to be completed over the next 20 years.