The US Fish and Wildlife Service said that $20 million will be offered in an attempt to rescue the monarch butterfly, which is an iconic North American symbol.
Dan Ashe, Fish and Wildlife Director, stated that his agency will provide an annual sum of $4 million in order to attempt an effort at rescuing the monarch butterfly. He will join hands with the Midwest national director for Fish and Wildlife, Tom Melius, who will have the last word on how the money will be spent.
A University of Minnesota professor, Karen Oberhauser, was happy that Thursday’s announcement regarding the funding proved that the butterfly extinction problem was undergoing serious thought and critical support.
Prof. Oberhauser, of the Monarch Joint Venture, which gathers researchers and conservationists, among others, reported that the issue was getting the high attention it deserved. That was the most important piece of news to her, she said.
The monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, is a large butterfly with a chromatic pattern involving deep orange. It displays black and white markings, and, while in its vividly colored caterpillar stage, feeds on milkweed.
The sum of money will be used to prevent the monarch butterfly’s extinction, in reviving its populations, primarily via habitat restoration. The White House had been involved in this initiative as well.
Ashe reported to the press, while at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, that the million dollars he intended to put to use for the rescue efforts would help conserve the brightly colored butterfly’s breeding and migration habits across strategic regions in the US. He had visited a monarch conservation celebration at that time. He and his partners would protect from harm the monarch butterfly, throughout specific priority regions of the US, including Minnesota.
The rescue attempt will include milkweed seeding, the butterfly’s primary source of food, along a prairie in between Duluth and Texas. Interstate 35 traverses the region from the latter mentioned metropolitan areas.
It is unfortunate that, while migrating, the number of monarch butterflies across Mexico decreased from approximately 1 billion in 1996 to about 56.5 million in 2015. So it seems that the monarch butterfly species could be catalogued as an “endangered” one.
Photo Credits deviantart.net