23 Aug Let’s save the monarchs
Since the end of July, ultra-marathoner Anthony Battah has been following monarch butterflies on their winter migration from Canada to Mexico, with the aim of drawing attention to the threats facing this important pollinator.
Anthony will cross 3 countries (Canada, USA and Mexico) and cover 4,500 km in 90 days, averaging 50 km per day.
He left Montreal last July 29 and plans to arrive on November 1st at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in central Mexico.
Monarch butterfly population in major decline
According to recent data, the monarch butterfly population has been in significant decline for about two decades. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has recently placed this species on the Red List of Threatened Species.
Deforestation, and the use of pesticides and herbicides significantly impact monarch butterflies and their habitat. Weather events caused by climate change, such as droughts, forest fires, and extreme temperatures, are also growing threats to the remaining populations.
Approximately 1.5 billion milkweed plants and an abundance of nectar-producing flowers need to be added along the migratory pathway of the monarch butterfly.
Throughout his “migratory” ultramarathon – from Canada to Mexico – Anthony will plant milkweed and nectar-rich flowers to create “aid stations” for future generations of monarchs.
He hopes to initiate a North American movement, movement that is already underway with many schools and cities committed to support the cause.
The Ultra-Trail Monarch project encourages the following citizen actions:
- Create monarch habitats along the entire migration corridor by planting milkweed and other nectar-rich flowers.
- Raise $4.5 million, or one dollar per meter Anthony will run, to help serious organizations dedicated to protecting the monarch and biodiversity.