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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Save the Monarch Butterfly from Ontario’s Archaic Laws. Kawartha Lakes City Actions Endanger Species at Risk

Monarch Butterfly Threatened!

According to CNN there are 100 million fewer overwintering Monarch Butterflies than last year. Live Monarch, a National Heritage 501(c)(3) not-for-profit foundation in the USA is distributing free milkweed seeds to help restore the Monarch butterfly’s habitat, but you’d better not plant them, City of Kawartha Lakes has mandated milkweed be destroyed on your property,or face a fine of $500.
Monarch Butterfly, a species at risk, of ”Special Concern Provincially and Nationally” is threatened by the recent call for milkweed to be destroyed in the City of Kawartha Lakes, and across the province. In addition,the announcement of the City’s intention to apply the herbicide Desormone, to control weeds along roadsides, throughout the City of Kawartha Lakes, further endangers the existence of the Monarch Butterfly. Why should residents care, and what can be done, before it’s too late?

Monarch Butterfly Importance

Since at least 2008, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has listed the Monarch Butterfly as a species at risk and called for Milkweed, the larval food plant, to be taken out of the noxious weed acts in Canada. In addition, the OMNR lists one of the major threats to the Monarch Butterfly as “the widespread use of pesticides and herbicides in Ontario”.

Milkweed Dangerous Plant?

According to the “Noxious Weed Profile”on the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs site; Ontario is  one of the few places listing milkweed as a noxious plant. The toxicity rating of milkweed is low to moderate. Generally unpalatable, and  distasteful to livestock, unless large quantities are consumed, death is a rare occurrence. In fact, only one case of livestock poisoning is cited in the file, that being of a dozen sheep ingesting large amounts of common milkweed during a drought in Maryland, when other vegetation was scarce.

Will You Help Save The Monarch?

Download and send a copy of this article to your Council Member, MPP and oppositional party members. Contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and find out what they are doing about the situation. Contact the Ministry of Agriculture, and ask them to remove milkweed from their list of noxious plants. 
If we do not stop the destruction of milkweed , perhaps the last you will be able to see monarch butterflies is as virtual pet.

Butterfly Resources:
City of Kawartha Lakes Bulletin (pdf ) May 05, 2011
Royal Ontario Museum Species at Risk :Monarch Butterfly
Ministry of Agriculture,Foods and Rural Affairs - Noxious Weeds Profile - Milkweed spp.
Live Monarch http://www.livemonarch.org/

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