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Save Milkweed and Protect Pollinators!

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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

The prostrate milkweed plant, crucial for the survival of Monarch butterflies and other pollinators, has been declared endangered. Take action for milkweed!

The prostrate milkweed plant is in trouble, and action needs to be taken to protect it.

The plant, which serves as a crucial habitat for pollinators like Monarch butterflies, has been listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service1. With only 24 populations remaining in South Texas and Northeastern Mexico, the prostrate milkweed plant is facing numerous threats, including construction, encroachment from invasive plants, and border security activities2.

The prostrate milkweed plant is not only important for Monarch butterflies but also for other pollinators that depend on it for survival3. The plant has a unique structure that makes it an ideal host plant for Monarch butterfly larvae4. The larvae feed on the leaves of the milkweed plant, and in doing so, ingest toxins called cardiac glycosides that are harmful to predators. These toxins remain in the butterfly's body throughout its life cycle, making it unpalatable to predators5.

The decline of the prostrate milkweed plant could have serious implications for the Monarch butterfly population6. In recent years, the number of Monarch butterflies has declined significantly due to habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change. Without the prostrate milkweed plant, the Monarch butterfly population will continue to decline, which could lead to the extinction of the species7.

Unfortunately, the prostrate milkweed plant faces numerous threats in the southwestern United States, including road construction and border enforcement activities8. Significant growth and urban sprawl in recent years has resulted in the clearing of land that was previously inhabited by the milkweed plant. Road maintenance on rural roads has also been a problem, as road crews have been known to clear land, removing all the seeds present there9.

Efforts are being made to protect the prostrate milkweed plant and prevent its extinction. Leaders in south Texas are raising awareness about the issue and ensuring that road crews are aware of the presence of the plant10. The Texas Department of Transportation has also logged the locations of the plant and will take steps to protect it during road construction10.

The prostrate milkweed plant is an important species that plays a critical role in the survival of pollinators, particularly Monarch butterflies. Its decline could have far-reaching implications for the ecosystem and the survival of numerous species. The critical habitat designation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a significant step towards protecting the plant and raising awareness about the issue11. However, more needs to be done to ensure that the plant is not lost forever.

Join us in making an effort to preserve the remaining populations of the prostrate milkweed plant. Take the milkweed pledge and prevent habitat loss from driving this important plant extinct.

More on this issue:

  1. Rebecca Salinas, KSAT.com (28 February 2023), "Texas milkweed listed as an endangered species by Fish and Wildlife Service."
  2. Kate Novak, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (27 February 2023), "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Rare South Texas Milkweed as an Endangered Species and Designates Critical Habitat."
  3. Katy, Save The Bees (17 February 2022), "Plant Important To Pollinators Driven To Edge Of Extinction."
  4. save our monarchs, "Monarchs Need Milkweed."
  5. Cinde Roup, Penn State Extension (25 June 2020), "Monarchs and Milkweed."
  6. Lindsay N. Smith, National Geographic (20 August 2014), "Monarch Butterfly's Reign Threatened by Milkweed Decline."
  7. Ali Rogin, Harry Zahn, Claire Mufson, Solveig Rennan, PBS (30 July 2022), "Monarch butterfly declared endangered amid declining numbers."
  8. Sandra Sanchez, BorderReport (28 February 2023), "‘Endangered’ milkweed could affect state’s plans to build border wall in South Texas."
  9. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior, Federal Register (28 February 2023), "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for Prostrate Milkweed and Designation of Critical Habitat."
  10. Christian von Preysing, KRGV.com (28 February 2023), "Rare south Texas milkweed listed as endangered species."
  11. Aubry Buzek, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (14 February 2022), "Service Proposes Endangered Status and Designation of Critical Habitat for Rare South Texas Milkweed."
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The Pledge:

The Prostrate Milkweed plant is an important species that plays a critical role in supporting pollinators like butterflies and bees. Unfortunately, the Prostrate Milkweed is currently facing the threat of extinction due to various reasons, including habitat loss, climate change, and the use of harmful pesticides.

As a concerned individual, I have the power to take action and help save this important plant species from extinction.

Therefore, I pledge to help save the dwindling Prostrate Milkweed plant from extinction by:

5. Avoiding using pesticides

To protect pollinators like butterflies and bees, I will use natural pest control methods such as companion planting and avoid using harmful pesticides.

4. Reducing my carbon footprint

I understand that climate change is a major threat to many species, including the Prostrate Milkweed. I will do my part by reducing my carbon footprint, for example by driving less or using energy-efficient appliances.

3. Spreading awareness

I will share information about the Prostrate Milkweed and its role in supporting pollinators with my friends, family, and community. I will raise awareness about the importance of milkweed and the challenges it faces to encourage others to take action to save this important plant species.

2. Supporting conservation efforts

I will support organizations that are working to protect and conserve milkweed habitats. I will consider donating to or volunteering with these groups.

Greater Good Charities is on a mission to assure the long-term survival of the monarch butterfly through the conservation and restoration of forests. With your donation, they can plant essential trees for the Monarch butterflies.

You can help rebuild the monarch butterfly's habitats where they seek shelter and food during its migrations. By making a donation, you help plant trees in the region and help them engage the local populations in this restoration effort.

1. Planting milkweed in my garden

By providing a habitat for Monarch butterflies and other pollinators, I can help increase their populations. I will purchase milkweed seeds from nurseries or online retailers.

If you don't have a garden, you can still support healthy new milkweed plants through donations to Greater Good Charities. Your support also helps fund labor, supplies and tools to ensure the seeds are being planted properly. As a bonus, these flowers will help other natural wildlife like birds, bees and other types of butterflies!

By pledging to take action and support the conservation of the Prostrate Milkweed, I will make a significant contribution to the preservation of the natural world.

Pledged by,

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