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Mon 5th Feb, 2018 will be...

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5th Feb each year

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Get out your tiara…wait no! It’s not that day. It is Western Monarch Day. It is a day to celebrate the Western Monarch butterfly. It travels from place to place but this day specifically we give thanks for their return to the central California coast. Why is this so important? It is important to watch and make sure that they do return. The monarch butterfly is facing a terrific decline in numbers. Many conservation groups are calling for it to be protected as an endangered species and claim that the number of declines could be as high as 90%!

History of Western Monarch Day
The Monarch butterfly is a stunning mix of grace and beauty. With rich tones of gold, red, yellow and orange they fly across the landscape and take over the job of pollination. They somehow know when it is time to move. Their migration can be tracked from north and east to south and west, and then back again. Amazingly each way of the migration takes four generations! Can you imagine? Taking into account how much they pollinate, and the fact that their migration takes such a toll on their population it is imperative to understand what their decline really means. Can you picture the toll when I say the decline of Monarch population is near 90%? Let me share a visual with you. Let’s talk people instead of insects. If we were to make a comparison, the loss to the butterfly would be as if all the people in the United States of America died except for those in Ohio and Florida. Stunning isn’t it?

With that picture in mind, can you now see why there is a Western Monarch Day? A day to bring awareness to this frightening decline? A day to find a way to make a difference!

How to Celebrate Western Monarch Day
Did you know that if we all took a few simple actions we could help to save the Western Monarch Butterfly? Currently, three conservation groups are working to get endangered status and protection for this creature, but is it enough? No. It isn’t. So what can I do you ask? Great question! One way is to share a little bit of your yard with them. The main plant that they need is milkweed. This plant is critical to their survival along the migration routes that they take. It provides nectar as well as the fact that it is the only plant in which the Monarch butterfly can lay their eggs in. In the Midwest of the United States of America, this plant is quickly disappearing as more and more land is being used for farming. If you go to https://www.livemonarch.com/free-milkweed-seeds.htm you can help by planting these free seeds. Give the butterflies a rest in your garden and you can help to ensure their continued well – being. When they come to feast and lay their eggs, you will be able to help document their numbers if you choose. But better yet you can enjoy their beauty knowing you have helped them!

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