Ribbon of butterflies 500 miles wide brings hope
T.O.’s milkweed mania delivers monarchs
In these turbulent political times, inspirational stories are more important than ever. Here’s one about how people power is fuelling a surprising comeback.
It starts with a quiet disappearance that gradually builds to a historic wave of orange. And it may offer a balm for the seemingly endless barrage of negative news.
Folks in Eastern Canada may have noticed something joyous in the air this summer: an abundance of monarch butterflies. After a couple of decades of decline, it appears monarchs had a great summer, culminating in an unusually strong migration over the past few weeks, with ribbons of orange “500 miles wide” flowing southward.
The return of monarchs is great news, because only four years ago their situation looked bleak. The eastern monarch population had plummeted from one billion two decades before to only 35 million.
The dramatic decline spurred the David Suzuki Foundation’s first #Gotmilkweed campaign. The foundation offered milkweed plants, which monarchs require for survival, although there was some uncertainty about how many customers would be interested in this particular type of “weed.”
Canadians’ collective love for monarchs and the urgency of their plight translated into brisk sales,