Children bring butterfly life back into garden
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.’’
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.’’
Charlie, 7, was a part of a social media campaign that targets kids to help save the monarch butterfly.