The United States Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday announced an initiative to raise $20 million to bring the Monarch Butterfly population back from the brink. Conservationists are interested in this cause as the species of butterfly is considered as an iconic symbol of the United States.
Dan Ashe, Fish and Wildlife Director accompanied by US Sen. Amy Klobuchar said that the agency has dedicated an amount of $4 million a year in the next five years to support the Monarch Butterfly rescue efforts. The move comes after officials in the White House declared their support for the species.
The declaration mentioned that these species play an important role in the pollination of fauns, and efforts must be made to prevent their extinction. Over the last few years, their population has decreased alarmingly.
At the Monarch conservation celebration of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife, Ashe said that the money for the rescue efforts would be shared with conservationists to facilitate Monarch breeding and migration throughout the country, including Minnesota. Minnesota will be the first region to carry out seeding of milkweed in a bid to restore the natural habitat of these butterflies. The 35 Interstate area between Texas and Duluth will also be cultivated with the plants to facilitate breeding.
Oberhauser who also chairs Monarch Joint Venture, a group of researchers, conservationists, nonprofits and federal agencies said it is getting high-level attention, and it’s the biggest news to him. Citizens can also help the efforts by creating a small butterfly habitat in their gardens, and they need only milkweed, salvia and other nectar flowers. This would allow them to lay their eggs. Monarch butterflies travel thousands of miles during migration. On the wintering grounds of Mexico, the population of butterflies dropped from $1 billion in 1996 to 56.5 million this year.[ Source ]