The final tally from this winter's Western Monarch Thanksgiving and New Year Counts is in, and it is alarming news. We have recorded a new record low for the western monarch population: 28,429 butterflies. This is an 86% decline from the previous year's count, and a 99.4% decline from the western monarch population in the 1980s.
This decline is not only shocking due to its scale, but also because 30,000 monarch butterflies is the number researchers set as their most educated guess for the threshold at which the western monarch migration could collapse (Schultz et al. 2017).
In response, the Xerces Society has developed the Western Monarch Call to Action, a set of rapid-response conservation actions that, if applied immediately, can help the western monarch population bounce back from its extremely low 2018-19 overwintering size. These five steps can be implemented by anyone, from land managers to individuals. We also encourage everyone to spread the word with the hashtag #SaveWesternMonarchs, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and to use our Save Western Monarchs profile frames on Facebook!
Saving the western monarch migration is not something that we at the Xerces Society can do alone. We urge you to join us and our colleagues in the western monarch science and conservation community in taking meaningful, swift action to help save western monarchs.
On our blog: xerces.org/2019/01/17/record-low-overwintering-monarchs-in-california
Our action plan: xerces.org/save-western-monarchs
This week-end, I received the award of the Best Student Filmmaker at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival for ‘Pursuing the Monarchs’ 🦋🎊Words are few to describe the joy and honor I felt while climbing on stage this past Sunday 📽❤️
But not only did I feel joy to be recognized amongst such amazing, environmental and adventure filmmakers, but I also felt an incredible sense of duty to the planet. We are children of the earth, and animals in the same right than frogs and birds—let us not forget that 🐦 🐸
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind when saying ‘we’, the human species, are at the root cause of the environmental degradation we witness today. But I can also say with confidence if we had the power to destroy, we have the power to mend.
Events like @wildandscenicfilmfestival remind that this is a truth I yearn to live by. Let me make a promise today: whatever I end up doing with my life, whatever the road I take, I will be taking it to defend our Mother Earth and its creatures.
Thank you Wild and Scenic for one of the most inspiring week-ends in my life 🙏🏼🌞 Trust that I will be back with another film soon! Thank you also to the team that made this possible in the first place: @ryanator@fortleeparis@fhameline@william_and_mary@jam__cookie@feninabox@taliaschmitt@alexvoyer_fisheye@armandrush@thetangledtomato
Sho Kellam // Pablo Jaramillo // Elena Rugas // Dr. Brower // Dr. Dalgleish // Dr. Pleasants // Joel Salatin // Joel & Elen Sharp and many many more!
Special shoutout to @chameleonaire23 for being here with me this weekend and always being an incredible source of inspiration 😍 and also for this shot 📸
23 15812 hours ago
"The monarch butterfly population in California has plummeted 86% in one year"⠀
Oh no! Did you know adult monarch butterflies also feed from other native plants? Black sage, CA brittlebush, coyotebrush, even bladderpod are all sources of nectar for the migrating adults. Of course, native milkweed is the most important plant for both adults and larvae. Help the monarchs (and other pollinators) with native flowers!⠀
live links on FB⠀
native plant guide for monarchs: ⠀
CNN article: ⠀
photo from CNN article⠀
0 5313 hours ago
Another name for the #MonarchButterflies
These butterflies will have a decision officially announced wether or not they will be on the endangered species list in June this year. (Sorry I was late to post)
0 1414 hours ago
This week, we are highlighting the five key steps in our Western Monarch Call to Action, the full text of which is available online at savewesternmonarchs.org. The first step is protect and manage California overwintering sites.⠀
Each year, overwintering sites are destroyed or damaged by human actions like development or inappropriate tree trimming, sometimes leading to total abandonment by the butterflies from the site, causing them stress and reducing options for safe overwintering habitat.⠀
Right now: We need to halt the destruction of overwintering habitat. In the next few months, we need to work at local, regional, and state levels to ensure that overwintering sites in California have sufficient legal and enforced protection. ⠀
In the next year: We need to create and implement overwintering site management plans at as many overwintering sites as possible that have hosted significant numbers of monarchs in recent years.⠀
See Protecting California’s Butterfly Groves: Management Guidelines for Monarch Butterfly Overwintering Habitat, published by the Xerces Society, for guidance on managing overwintering sites (available at: ).⠀
You can adopt an overwintering site and become an advocate for the site’s protection and active management. Contact your local elected official to ask that monarch overwintering sites in your area be protected. ⠀
Finally, please spread the word! Share these posts, talk to your friends and family, and get as many people on board to #SaveWesternMonarchs!⠀
Again, more information is available at savewesternmonarchs.org! Thank you for your help!⠀
We love botanicals & monarch butterflies.
Many people do not realize that for over a decade, we’ve been growing many of our own botanical extracts (and the lavender you get in your shipments) and also, we have a butterfly house, to help save endangered monarch butterflies.
This spring, we will Be including a beautiful canvas pouch with a pinch of milkweed seeds, in shipments.
Please plant these somewhere where they won’t be disturbed or sprayed with pesticides.
Monarch butterfly larvae and caterpillars only feed off of milkweed. This is where eggs can be found as well.
Please help us save Monarchs and tag as as your plants grow & you find monarchs! .
In Hiawatha First Nation, some community members have started their own monarch butterfly hatching stations to help the endangered insects through their metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly.
Monarch butterflies were classified as endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada in 2016, citing population declines due to loss of habitat in their overwintering area in Mexico and increased frequency and severity of storms.
Sandra and Barry Moore set up this home-made hutch — a cube frame build out of wood with a solid floor and mesh sides — about a month ago. On the bottom are soup cans filled with water and fresh milkweed leaves. The monarch solely eats milkweed plants.
They estimate that by the end of the season, they will have helped up to 150 monarchs grow from egg or caterpillar to adult butterfly.
Photos by: Rhiannon Johnson/CBC Indigenous | #butterflies#monarchbutterflies#monarchs#metamorphsis#CBCIndigenous