Where are all the butterflies?
So it is not just imagination. There are a lot less butterflies now than forty or even ten years ago.
The major reason for this seems to be, as Laurie Davies Adams, the executive director of Pollinator Partnership phrases it:
“If you don’t have a place to nest, if you don’t have a place to lay eggs, if you don’t have a place to get the floral resources you need, because they’re absent because of drought or early bloom, you’re in trouble”.
It is not the butterflies we are hurting – it is the environment where they live. We rip apart woods and meadows for housing developments and bug-spray our lawns. There simply is less space to live for the butterflies.
Is there anything we individuals can do to help?
Of course we won’t all have the time, energy or want to go full-frontal on saving the butterflies, but it is the little things we all can do to help.
Jeffrey Glassberg, the president of the North American Butterfly Association, gives great advice:
“It would be really easy for people to make a significant difference in the environment just by the way they planted their suburban yards. Many butterflies would be increased by planting your yard with the right native plants.”
With a quick search we found a list of plants that butterflies favor:
- Sticky Catchlys
- Jasmine Tobaccos
- Sweet Williams
- Dame’s Rockets,
- Scarlet Beebalms,
- Dense blazing stars and
The list goes on longer and choosing different plants will attract a wider variety of species. One thing is clear: butterflies are not too picky when it comes to sources of nutrition.
Planting the kind of flowers that butterflies prefer is just one of the many ways to attract and help these beautiful pixies. If we still want to enjoy observing the routine of these wonderful creatures after the next twenty years, let’s begin to help them by small steps.
Later on in our blog we will dig in deeper into how to plan and create a butterfly haven in our own garden.
To read more check out our references:
- The Washington Post, Darryl Fears (2013, June 30). Butterfly decline signals trouble in environment. Retrieved from <https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/butterfly-decline-signals-trouble-in-environment/2013/06/30/b86b8cf4-da8c-11e2-a9f2-42ee3912ae0e_story.html>
- Butterfly Conservation (2015). The State of Britain's Butterflies. <http://butterfly-conservation.org/1643/the-state-of-britains-butterflies.html>
- Pollinator Partnership. <http://www.pollinator.org/about.htm>
- North American Butterfly Association. <http://nababutterfly.com/>
- Gardeners, Kathy LaLiberte. Attracting Butterflies, Hummingbirds and Other Pollinators. Retrieved from <http://www.gardeners.com/how-to/attracting-butterflies-hummingbirds/7265.html>
Also in Blog
Have you ever wondered how to make your outdoor areas more butterfly friendly? We collected our best tips to this newsletter on how to improve your neighborhood to attract butterflies.
Every now and then we receive pictures where ants have taken over the Oasis, requesting over tips on how to get rid of them.