Earlier this week Texan by Nature founder former first lady- Mrs. Laura W. Bush and leaders of Texas Parks and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Wildlife Federation announced new statewide efforts to conserve the majestic Monarch butterfly.
The Monarch butterfly is not only the official insect of Texas, but the Monarch is unique because it doesn’t hibernate it only migrates based on the season which it does four times during it’s lifetime. “Monarch butterflies and their fellow pollinators … are vital to the well being of the natural world and for all Texans,” the former first lady said at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. “These beautiful creatures ensure the reproduction of flowering plants and the pollination of crops, [but] sadly monarch butterfly numbers have been steadily decreasing for over a decade.”
According to the Dallas Morning News,the population has declined from more than one billion to about 40 to 60 million in the last two decades, according to the National Wildlife Federation. “The fact that they are declining tells us something about how we are taking care of the planet,” said Dan Ashe, director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. “We can do better and this is something we can do. We can do it without regulation and we can do it by working together.” Ashe said it would be a tremendous loss if the monarch butterfly were to disappear. “We depend upon this group of animals called pollinators … for agricultural benefits. They provide billions and billions of dollars in pollinator services and they do it for free,” he said. “So by taking care of monarch butterflies, in a very real sense we are taking care of ourselves.”
During recent announcement, Laura Bush encouraged all Texans to join her in helping save the monarch by planting native milkweed and nectoring-type plants whether over vast landscapes or in their own backyards.
If anyone remembers, former first lady Lady Bird Johnson is the reason that bluebonnet (Texas flower) still exist today. Can you imagine our life without butterflies or flowers?