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TWRA Partners with Non-Profits in Launching Campaign to Save Monarch Butterflies

Kenneth Dwain Harrelson, Wikimedia Commons

The monarch butterfly, recognized by its beautiful orange hue, may not be a common sight in coming years. In response to the decimation of the species, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is partnering with other non-profit organizations to launch a campaign to save monarch butterflies.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the monarch population numbering nearly one billion in North America in 1996, has diminished in recent years by approximately 90 percent. A variety of factors threaten monarchs, including the deforestation of the species’ winter habitat in Mexico and California, compromising agricultural practices and urban development.

The TWRA, along with the National Wildlife Federation, Tennessee Wildlife Federation, Tennessee Parks and Greenways Association, Mississippi River Corridor and The Nature Conservancy, has established a partnership with the Roundstone Native Seed Company to provide regional seeds for wildflower gardens essential for monarch survival.

Funded through a State Wildlife Grant and donations, the Save the Monarchs Campaign will provide seeds to any individual, group or organization wishing to participate. Seed packets will cover approximately 15 feet and include nectar-producing flowers and milkweed, the species’ exclusive larval host and prominent food source.

The project not only seeks to protect monarchs from extinction, as the species decline is a symptom of deeper environmental health problems. The decline indicates poor health among pollinators throughout North America, which poses a major risk to our food supply and national health.

Those interested in receiving seed packets are encouraged to contact Pandy English in the TWRA Environmental Services Division at 615-781-6643.


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