Chances are you’ve seen monarch butterflies fluttering around in your garden or in a nearby public park. You probably didn’t think much about the bold orange and black insects because they’re fairly common in the United States. However, monarch sightings may be becoming more infrequent, according to a recent PBS report earlier this month that reported the monarch population has decreased by 90 percent in the last few years. According to the report, the U.S government has now pledged $3.2 million to help save the monarchs.
What’s causing the decline of these orange and black butterflies? Environmental experts say a lot of the problem is directly related to the decline of their exclusive egg-laying and food source: the milkweed plant. They cite harsh weed killers used to protect crops as the main reason that milkweed is dying out. Without milkweed, monarchs won’t make it. Two other problems the PBS article cites have to do with Mexico, the butterflies’ winter escape. According to the article, the climate is changing and the monarch’s habitat is being destroyed by the logging industry.
The U.S. Government’s Action Plan
That’s why the government stepped in to help. In a recent article about the federal government’s pledge, The Huffington Post reports, “The goal is to restore or protect 200,000 acres of monarch habitat on public and private lands, as well as build 750 habitats and gardens at schools across the country.” The Fish and Wildlife Service is even reviewing the Monarch’s plight to see if the insect needs to be protected as an endangered species.
Monarch Flyway & Ogallala Comfort
While the federal government is now taking strides to help ensure that the monarch’s milkweed habitats are protected, Monarch Flyway has been on a mission to protect and grow monarch habitats for more than 27 years! They’re actually the world’s largest supplier of sustainable harvested milkweed products. Monarch Flyway started Ogallala Comfort as a way to further milkweed production by using part of the plant in their luxury bedding line. Ogallala uses the seedless Syriaca clusters that are harvested from the seed pods of the milkweed plant, along with fine white goose down, in their patented Ogallala® blend. That unique fill goes into their pillows, comforters, and mattress enhancers.
How You Can Help
So what can you do to help save the Monarch butterflies? It’s simple—by creating a higher demand for milkweed! Buying products that contain milkweed, like Ogallala Comfort Company’s super soft bedding, drives up the demand for the plant and helps protect milkweed that’s already growing. Monarch Flyway writes, “Growing more milkweed will help Monarchs survive the destruction of their natural habitats throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada.”