The following is a guest blog written by a founding member of Women for Nature about her recent journey to visit the winter roosting sites of the Monarch Butterfly in Mexico. She shares with us the sights and sounds from this UNESCO Biosphere and her thoughts about the need for Monarch conservation. Reserva Mariposa Monarca – by Sharolyn Mathieu Vettese The Reserva Mariposa Monarca is found at 3,000 metres above sea level and a distance of more than 2,300 kilometres away from my home. Following my first trip last year to the Reserva Biosfera Mariposa Monarca (the Monarch Butterflies’ UNESCO Biosphere), I was more determined than ever to revisit them… read more →
Monarch butterflies are a delight to Canadian, Mexican and American children and their parents. Unfortunately Monarch populations are in steep decline. Since 1996 migrating Monarch populations in North America have crashed from as many as one billion to a mere 35 million, primarily due to habitat loss. Monarchs are listed as a species of “special concern” under Canada’s Species at Risk Act in addition to being listed as ‘at-risk’ in Ontario and Nova Scotia. But none of these listings protect the species’ habitat (other than on federal lands). Even worse, milkweed—which is essential for egg-laying for Monarchs– is not only considered an agricultural pest in many jurisdictions, but is actively… read more →
A True Leader for More Sustainable Practices Should you be in the Niagara-on-the-Lake area, why not stop and visit Southbrook Vineyards. Southbrook is leading by example and showing how to make great wine while caring about the environment at the same time. They are organic, bio dynamic and LEED certified. Last year, I was lucky enough to stop by the Vineyards and enjoyed a tour of the grounds and learned about the many ways Southbrook works to minimize its impact on the land. I learned about the various plants around the building that naturally ward off pests from the grapes. I learned about their bioswale which breakdowns pollution from storm… read more →
Here are some interesting facts about Monarch butterflies! Scientific Name: Danaus plexippus SARA status: Special Concern; Ontario: Special Concern Taxonomic Group: Arthropods Size: wingspan of 8.6-10.5 cm Adult monarch butterflies are orange and black with white spots on the borders of the wings. The caterpillars are black, white and yellow stripped and can be found on milkweed plants. The chrysalis is a distinctive green and gold. Monarchs can sometimes be confused with the similar-looking, but smaller Viceroy, but are easily distinguished by the lack of a black band on the hind wing that runs parallel to the wing edge. During the summer months, you can find adult Monarchs feeding on the… read more →
Raising our voice for Canadian wildlife and wild spaces Nature Canada staff work every day to protect wildlife and their habitats in Canada – it’s at the heart of our mission. Many species also require an international effort to protect them throughout their range. For example, as a Canadian co-partner of BirdLife International, we frequently work to protect migratory birds in both their Canadian breeding grounds and their southern wintering grounds. But it’s not just birds that migrate – Nature Canada is also working to protect another iconic winged species – the Monarch butterfly. Working with partners such as the Monarch Teachers Network of Canada and the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club’s… read more →
Check out this fantastic video of a monarch butterfly emerging from its Chrysalis!
Recent research on Monarch Butterflies shows a sharp decline in its numbers since monitoring began nearly 20 years ago. Part of the problem lies in the parallel decline of milkweed – a plant that Monarchs rely on for food and protection. Milkweed, often eradicated through the use of pesticides, is vital to the Monarch’s ability to survive and reproduce. Here are 3 things you can do in your own yard, terrace, community garden or other green space to be a good neighbour in your NatureHood! Plant native species—they have adapted to your local soil and climate conditions so they don’t need watering or fertilizers (or pesticides!) to thrive. Include plants… read more →
The latest research on Monarch Butterflies shows a sharp decline in its numbers since monitoring began nearly 20 years ago. Part of the problem lies in the parallel decline of milkweed – a plant that Monarchs rely on for food and protection. Milkweed, often eradicated through the use of pesticides, is vital to the Monarch’s ability to survive and reproduce. What can you do to help? It’s easier than you think! Plant milkweed in your garden, along your driveway or at the cottage this spring and give the Monarch a much-needed helping hand. Need help getting started? Check out our guide to planting milkweed and get ready to welcome home… read more →