President Barak Obama comes to the aid of the Monarch butterflies, that will be getting their very own travel route alongside Interstate 35 between Mexico and Minnesota. This is bound to heavily increase this wonderful butterfly’s numbers and generate millions of alternative pollinators for bees.
The Fish and Wildlife Service will invest $3,2 million in constructing this wildlife corridor that will essentially rebuild the butterflies’ habitat all the way along the 1,500 mile path.
The term wildlife corridor refers to the rehabilitation of a path between two populations of animals that cannot communicate anymore because of man-made adjustments brought to this portion.
This is the case of the Monarch butterfly that migrates all the way through Southwestern US in springtime and then fly all the way to Mexico where they stay during winter.
Along this vast migration they perform their entire life cycles, from the larval states all the way to the adult states that mate and enable females to lay new eggs that will hatch into new generations.
The aim of this enormous intervention is to raise the current number of Monarch butterflies of 5,6 million all the way to a whopping 225 million by 2020.
This aspiration is meant to be achieved by heavily growing the plant populations that constitute food sources for these butterflies and protect them from the dangerous hands of humans.
Despite the fact that Interstate 35 might not appear suitable for this endeavor, specialists explain that it offers ideal conditions where the butterflies can thrive and that there will be enough of a distance between the highway and the butterfly passage, that ironically is called a “flyway”.
“They constitute large land acreage on a cumulative basis, are generally maintained in sunny areas with low vegetation height (ideal pollinator habitat), (…) thereby potentially acting as corridors for species movement and adaptation to climate change.” says the project butterfly report.
The main plant in the butterfly’s meal is the milkweed, whose disappearance was caused by the excessive use of herbicides in the lands used by the gargantuan agriculture corporations. This has played a key role in the plummet observed in Monarch populations.
The new wildlife corridor will provide the butterfly with an extensive vegetation to fly around and feed in and with breeding habitats that they can use in summertime, all in the hopes of growing their numbers.
The wildlife corridor will constitute an actual butterfly-highway that will provide them with a safe and suitable passage way from Texas-Mexico border to Duluth, Minnesota. It will provide an enormous area along 1,500 miles where their populations can flourish for many years to come.
This will provide the US with an alternative method of pollination that is absolutely essential to the future of agriculture, that is threatened by the ever-lowering number of bees, who are nature’s best pollinators.
Image Source: expressioncoffins