Did you know that the average suburban yard uses ten times as much pesticide, per acre, as farmland? That’s just one of many things you can learn by spending seven and a half minutes to watch a new video on monarch butterfly conservation in Oklahoma.
Titled “How Saving Monarchs Can Save Our Communities,” the short documentary is the latest in a series of 50 state profiles in conservation, by videography company Local Motives.
The film features interviews with Okies for Monarchs director Mary Waller, and Marci Hawkins, Education and Conservation Director, Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition – like the Kerr Center, a member of Okies for Monarchs.
It emphasizes habitat loss’ role in the monarchs’ decline, underlining milkweed’s importance for the species’ survival.
The film’s larger message is about the ways that creating and conserving monarch habitat also provides ecological benefits for other pollinators, and even human beings. For example, following Waller’s suggestion about planting native perennial plants in suburban yards, and even urban balconies, cuts down on the need for the aforementioned high rates of pesticide applications to keep less well adapted plants alive and healthy.
“It’s a really wonderful way to align conservation goals with community concerns and interests,” says Abigail Derby Lewis, Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Field Museum in Chicago.
“Everything we do for monarchs is good for all pollinators – whether that’s hummingbirds and bats or moths or bees or wasps,” says Waller. “Everything we do that benefits a pollinator benefits a monarch, and vice versa.”
“If we keep on a path of destructive behavior for these species, then we’re really harming ourselves.”