Monarch butterflies, known for their beautiful orange, black, and white wings, migrate 2,000 miles across Canada, the United States, and Mexico each year. Millions of monarch butterflies leave their summer homes in Canada and the United States to travel across North America to reach southwestern Mexico, where they stay for the winter (much like many Canadians). Unfortunately, extreme weather patterns, habitat loss, and increasing usage of pesticides and herbicides threaten monarch butterflies.
To protect monarch butterflies across North America, Canada, the United States, and Mexico are working together through the Commission for Environmental Cooperation. Thanks to ongoing collaborative efforts through the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, the Trinational Monarch Knowledge Network was launched this year to serve as a shared database for scientists and organizations across the three countries. This trinational database facilitates cooperation on monitoring monarch butterfly migration and milkweed – important efforts to conserve the butterfly and its habitat.
Protecting the monarch butterfly is just one small part of Canada’s $1.3 billion commitment to preserve “Our Nature.” Through the Nature Legacy, we are working with partners to double our conserved areas by 2020. This includes efforts to provide habitat for at-risk species, including the monarch butterfly.
The Embassy of Canada is doing our part to support monarch migration and conservation too. In 2017, in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we built a monarch butterfly garden on our rooftop and at the Ambassador’s Official Residence. The gardens are visited by a range of species of butterflies and other pollinators. The National Wildlife Federation named the gardens a “Certified Wildlife Habitat.” These gardens contribute to the area’s biodiversity and sustainability.
Through actions big and small, we know we can safeguard the monarch and support future generations of monarch butterflies.