Dawson releases over 175 monarch butterflies
As part of the Living Campus initiative with Sustainable Dawson, faculty, students and staff nurtured monarch chrysalises and caterpillars over the last three weeks. The pièce de résistance was the tagging and releasing of 175 monarch butterflies into the Peace Garden.
According to the World Wildlife Federation, the monarch butterfly will travel between 2,000 – 5,000 kilometres from Canada through the United States to reach its destination in the forest mountains of Mexico. Unfortunately, the monarch migration patterns are being severely affected by climate change and their survival is being threatened by a lack of places to reproduce and feed. Sadly, the WWF reports that the number of monarchs in Mexico in 2013 was the lowest in 20 years, estimated to have occupied only 1.65 acres compared to 27.5 acres in 2003.
The fostering of monarchs and boosting their chances of survival through increasing awareness of their plight is only one of the many initiatives of our Living Campus and Sustainable Dawson. For more information on Sustainable Dawson, check out their web site.
Videographer Phil Carpenter captured footage of the monarchs at Dawson as part of a video article on the topic of environment in the Canadian Elections. The full video can be viewed on the Gazette’s website.