GREENBELT, Md. (WJZ) — Monarch Butterflies are at risk of becoming endangered.

Conservation advocates say a number of factors are causing their steep decline, including habitat loss on farmland.

One Maryland woman is working day by day to restore the wind beneath their wings by growing milkweed in her Greenbelt yard.

Laura Moore is passionate about the ecosystem, she grows three types of milkweed to raise Monarch Butterflies.

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“They’re close to endangered, so if bringing some in and increasing the survival rate will help, then hey,” Moore said.

Moore’s mission to save them is a grassroots effort.

“It’s just kind of a fun way to get people excited about it,” Moore said. “I’ve given caterpillars to people to raise on their own, and that gets their kids excited. I’ve given a bunch of milkweed away because that’s really the best way.”

Moore said the loss of milkweed is the biggest reason Monarch Butterflies could be wiped out.

“You don’t have Monarchs without milkweed,” Moore said.

Recent changes to the Endangered Species Act could remove automatic protections for threatened species.

Nothing knows change like a butterfly, but Moore isn’t giving up.

“I love insects,” Moore said. “I got my Masters in entomology, so I love bugs. When you’re helping the Monarchs you’re really helping the ecosystem.”

She’s raising Monarchs, and awareness, about the value of living things.

A decision about whether Monarch Butterflies will be listed as a threatened species is expected at the end of next year.


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