New York, New York. In September, the New York City Parks Department “unwittingly destroyed the most extensive and important monarch habitat in Northern Manhattan”- native common milkweed. This milkweed, also known as Asclepias Syriaca, is integral to the survival of Monarch butterflies- a critically endangered species that is at-risk of extinction.
In response, the Inwood Butterfly Sanctuary started a Change.org petition addressed New York City Council.
“Monarch butterflies rely on this particular host plant. Monarchs will only lay eggs on milkweed, which has leaves which contain a substance that provides the larva, caterpillars, and adult butterflies with a primary defense from many predators.”
In other words, the Monarch species cannot survive without milkweed.
The NYC Parks Department received several formal notifications which stressed the importance of preserving the milkweed colony. Still, the area located just south of Dyckman Marina was cleared entirely.
According to the sanctuary, “This came at the worst moment, as the ‘super generation’ of monarchs hosted there were in the final phase of development, preparing to make the longest migration of any insect.”
Instead, the Monarchs have been “decimated.”
The sanctuary is urging the community to sign this petition for the sake of the Monarch species. “Please help us call attention to this issue of critical importance,” they wrote.
“We must follow the examples of other cities and municipalities around the country that have made significant efforts to restore the native habitat of a threatened species of butterfly and pollinator.”
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