Before the 1970’s nobody knew the migration pattern of the monarch butterflies, but with the help of Dr. Fred A Urquhart, we learned a little bit more about these creatures. He spent 40 years tracking the route of the butterflies to find where they spend the winter season. It is believed that they head towards the Gulf Shores for the holidays and hide there until the weather is proper for them to come back and amaze us with their beautiful colors.
After several years of research and hard work, Dr. Urquhart along with others found the spot where butterflies hide and lay eggs. Sierra Madre is one of the places discovered by them. There, they found millions of monarch butterflies that left their eggs on milkweed leaves. This plant has toxic chemicals on the leaves, and this means that birds can’t eat the eggs without getting poisoned by these leaves. This is a self-defense mechanism used by the butterfly to expand.
After the butterflies are developed into adults, they learn migration pattern and come back to leave their one eggs on the leaves.
The problem is that butterflies have less and less place to leave their eggs due to the illegal logging and the spraying of the milkweed plant.
Despite the fact that researchers have warned people for years that the butterflies are going to face extinction, they still get rid of the plant necessary for the existence of monarch.
In the last 2 decades, the number of butterflies that spent their winter in Mexico has declined by 90%. This means that the migration of the monarch butterflies is in danger.
Last summer Obama along with the presidents of Mexico and Canada tried to unite forces for helping the monarch butterflies and honey bees. The president of the U.S also requested help from different agencies that provide environmental protection.
A corridor of 1500 miles was created for the butterflies from Minnesota to Texas and another from Mexico up to Canada in the summer and spring. 200.000 acres of land was identified as a habitat for these insects by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.
These efforts should help the butterflies complete the migration pattern and leave their eggs to have a higher population.