North American leaders called upon to save monarch butterfly

A Monarch butterfly sits on a tree trunk at the Sierra Chincua Sanctuary in the mountains of Mexico’s Michoacan state.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto are being urged to do something to save a delicate symbol of the continent: the monarch butterfly.

The three leaders are being asked to review farming and logging policies with a view to giving the monarch butterflies a source of food on their annual winter migration routes. In an open letter, scientists, environmentalists, writers and artists ask the three leader to agree to create a corridor of milkweed — the butterfly’s food source — and reverse declines in butterfly populations.

Among the signatories are Canadian scientists who study monarch butterfly migration patterns, as well as noted Canadian authors Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje and John Ralston Saul.

“If the monarch butterfly migration and overwintering phenomenon is to persist in eastern North America, mitigation of breeding habitat loss must be initiated,” the letter reads. “As Mexico is addressing the logging issues, so now must the United States and Canada address the effects of our current agricultural policies.”

The butterfly is one of those issues that the signatories hope will make it on the agenda for meetings this week between Harper, Obama and Pena Nieto. The environment is expected to be on the agenda, but there’s also the economy, immigration, security and education — a lot to go through in only a few hours.

Read the full story here.


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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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