In defense of the monarch butterfly and it’s breeding cycle:
We are in favor of de-listing the local indigenous milkweed from the noxious weeds list. OMFRA is antiquated in it’s approach by having this still listed.
In fact, we believe that promotional material should be developed to urge farmers, cottagers, and conservation areas to set aside small patches of land, ditches etc to plant milkweed where it can grow and flourish to do what we can to save the monarch butterflies who are under great threat.
Monarch butterflies rely on local milkweed to feed their young. They lay eggs on the milkweed and their caterpillars feed on the plant as they grow. Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) listed milkweed as a noxious weed so people have been aggressively eradicating it for years. In doing this, we’ve been killing the very plants monarchs need for survival of their young. To make matters worse, invasive dog-strangling vine is taking over the areas which milkweed used to grow in. It fools the butterflies into laying eggs on it, but the larvae starve since they can’t eat this noxious plant. We are losing hundreds of thousands of butterflies.
I battle dog-strangling vine in my own yard. I understand the rigors necessary to try to beat this invasive, noxious weed. Why hasn’t this been listed as an immediate and significant threat to the Ontario environment? There is no question that it is.
Frankly I am shocked to learn that milkweed wasn’t de-listed ages ago. And with Environment Canada and the US government seeking ways of controlling and killing dog-strangling vine, I am equally stupefied that this is not listed as noxious. It’s past time for action. I am calling on you to take the necessary steps.