Chil­dren bring but­ter­fly life back into gar­den

North Shore Times - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - LAINE MOGER

A ‘‘next-gen eco-war­riors’’ cam­paign has used two North Shore broth­ers to help spread the word about sav­ing the monarch but­ter­fly in New Zealand.

The cam­paign, Eco War­riors, tar­gets Kiwi kids, in­form­ing them they too can play a part in pro­tect­ing the monarch but­ter­fly by plant­ing and car­ing for the swan plant.

Swan plants are the habi­tat for monarch but­ter­flies and, be­cause they can smell them from 3 kilo­me­tres away, by plant­ing a swan plant, you are invit­ing monar­chs into your gar­den.

AUT stu­dent, Kelsey Moller was one of five pub­lic re­la­tions stu­dents to in­sti­gate the so­cial me­dia cam­paign, ready just in time for spring.

Moller said the ‘‘feel good’’ cam­paign specif­i­cally tar­geted pri­mary school stu­dents, rather than speak­ing to univer­sity stu­dents.

‘‘Pop­u­la­tion num­bers of the monarch but­ter­flies are de­creas­ing,’’ Moller said.

‘‘They [chil­dren] are im­por­tant to tar­get be­cause they al­ready think but­ter­flies are awe­some. It is cool to use them as a tool to ed­u­cate oth­ers,’’ she said.

North­cote Pri­mary School pupils Billy, 10, and Char­lie, 7, il­lus­trate to AUT stu­dent Dun­can, the im­por­tance of car­ing for monar­chs in a short Face­book video, about the im­por­tance of plant­ing and car­ing for swan plants.

The broth­ers were happy to be in­volved in the cam­paign, be­cause they grew up watch­ing the life cy­cle of the monarch on their swan plants at home, Moller said.

Moths and But­ter­flies of New Zealand Trust rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jac­qui Knight said each year there are re­ports of fewer monar­chs around.

‘‘In some cases there is a lack

‘‘They [chil­dren] are im­por­tant to tar­get be­cause they al­ready think but­ter­flies are awe­some.’’

Kelsey Moller

of host and nec­tar plants, with is­sues such as the use of the pes­ti­cide, wors­en­ing cli­mate change and preda­tors playing a neg­a­tive role,’’ Knight said.

‘‘With just a win­dow-sill or gar­den, you at home can in­vite the monarch but­ter­fly back into kiwi back­yards.’’

Swan plants are cheap and easy to main­tain, only cost­ing a few dol­lars at lo­cal gar­den cen­tres, Moller said.

‘‘Ev­ery Kiwi can make a dif­fer­ence to help.’’

SUP­PLIED

Char­lie, 7, was a part of a so­cial me­dia cam­paign that tar­gets kids to help save the monarch but­ter­fly.

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