Dear President Obama,
Did you know that the monarch butterfly population is at an all-time low? Did you also know that you can help save them from possible extinction?
We are student scientists from Robinson Elementary School in Toledo, Ohio. This fall, we raised monarchs from egg to adult. Please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6ZRx6-5o44 to see a short video of our work. We performed scientific investigations, studied the life cycle, learned about disease and habitat loss. Once our butterflies eclosed from their chrysalis, we used tags from MonarchWatch.org and released them on their journey to Mexico. Sadly, not a single one of the 55 butterflies we tagged was recovered in Mexico.
When you meet with President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper tomorrow, please think about the monarchs released at Robinson Elementary School, along with millions of others in North America, who could not make their annual migration to Mexico. Toluca, Mexico is not far from the Monarch winter colonies. You should be able to see entire forests of hibernating monarchs, but this year the numbers are lower than they have ever been. We realize that you are in Mexico on important business and are not there to talk about Monarchs, but you could! If all the leaders of North America take action NOW to restore the Monarch butterfly habitats, we could save this important pollinating insect.
We urge you to discuss an initiative across all of North America to plant milkweed, the monarch larva’s only food source, all along its migration route from Canada, through the United States, and into Mexico. Farmers are using pesticides which kill monarch larva, and we understand that banning pesticide is not a viable option. What we propose is that the leaders of North America take action to encourage the planting of milkweed on roadsides and in open fields. City leaders would be able to save money since that land by road sides and open fields would not need to be mowed, and the monarchs would have plenty of milkweed along their migration route. Saving this one butterfly species can change the world! Think of the butterflies we raised and released, and know that you can save them!
The Student Scientists at Robinson Elementary School