The U.S. government vows to plant more milkweed while GMOs continue to kill off the magical creature in never-before-seen numbers.

Rodale News
by Christine Olley

Source: Postbear

Monarchs are getting massacred. This week, the Obama administration and conservation groups have come together to announce how they are going to save these beautiful creatures.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will spend $2 million to work with the National Wildlife Foundation to grow milkweed and other plants along the main migration routes of monarchs, which span from Minnesota to Mexico.

Monarchs, known for their vibrant orange color, exclusively eat milkweed, which has been severely degraded in many areas across the United States in recent years, according to a release announcing the funding partnership. The loss of the milkweed plants can be largely attributed to by increased herbicide use resulting from the widespread planting of genetically engineered crops in the Midwest, where most monarchs are born.

The projects will also focus on supporting more than 750 habitats and pollinator garderns. “People feel really close to butterflies because a lot of people remember trying to catch them as children,” says Tierra Curry, from the Center for Biological Diversity.

The monarch butterfly population in North America has declined by 90 percent in the past 20 years, dropping from a high of approximately 1 billion in the mid-90s to fewer than 35 million butterflies last winter, Curry explained. “It’s kind of a wake-up call that we’ve made environmental changes on such a large scale that common species are struggling to survive,” she says.

While native milkweed plants are available at most native plant nurseries, you can use these milkweed-planting instructions if you prefer to plant milkweed from seed.

For more ways to save this beautiful creature, try adopting these 4 monarch-protecting strategies.

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