The monarchs have made it to Mexico, and they're doing well. But we only have a few weeks to get the FWS to take action or Monsanto will poison the food they need for a return trip. Donate here to help us fight Monsanto and save the monarchs.
Monarch butterflies have completed their 3000 mile journey south to Mexico, and there seem to be a few hundred more of them than last year1 - a good sign for a species close to the brink of extinction.
But I'm worried about their return flight, which starts in just a few weeks. So far, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has favored voluntary approaches to save the Monarch, which won't stop Monsanto. In just a few weeks, farmers will begin spraying Monsanto chemicals on millions of acres. When they do, they'll wipe out most of the milkweed these magnificent fliers need to feed on.
With just a few weeks left in the comment period, we're running out of time to convince FWS and President Obama to change their approach. If they don't, we could lose a lot more Monarchs on the flight north than we gained on the flight south. Can you chip in to help us mount a bigger, more effective campaign to get FWS' attention before the March 2 deadline?
According to the World Wildlife Fund and Mexican authorities, 69 percent more Monarchs made it to Mexico this year, compared to last year. But that's still a tiny fraction of the number that should have made it, and the species remain close to the brink of extinction.
Better weather, less storms and sheer luck may help a few more Monarch butterflies make the voyage in any given year. But until we reduce the use of Monsanto's chemicals, and get milkweed to re-grow across millions of acres of the American farm belt, the species is still at risk. Until we're willing to address the role of chemical herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers on our environment - the butterflies will keep dying every time they migrate.
That's what makes this comment period so important. Yes, it's great that Obama's Fish and Wildlife Service has recognized that the drop in Monarch populations is a cause for concern. That's why they're considering them for the Endangered Species list. But getting them to act on that information, especially by taking on a multi-billion dollar chemical company like Monsanto -- that's the real goal.
We've got a plan to make sure FWS knows it's not enough to study the Monarch, they need to take action to protect it and it's food supply. But to make it work, we need to raise $5,000 before the end of the comment period. Donations will help us buy ads where FWS can see them, commission additional research and maybe even bring a supporter like you to the Monarch's Mexican wintering grounds. Can you chip in to help us make it happen?
Drew Hudson, Director, and the team at Environmental Action.
1- Associated Press, Mexico: Monarch Levels Rebound, The New York Times, January 27, 2015