Mayor Ivy "Monarch Champion" Taylor took the National Wildlife Federation's Mayor's Monarch Pledge Wednesday, committing to creating habitats for the beleaguered butterflies and educating the public on how to make a difference in their own homes.
The pledge consists of 24 specific actions, all of which Taylor agreed to, making San Antonio the first "Monarch Champion."
"I will work with local, state and national organizations to develop a city-wide conservation plan including planting Monarch habitats, encouraging ecosystem conservation and educating the public," Taylor says in a press release. "In fact, along with our partners at the San Antonio River Authority and the University of Texas at San Antonio, our community has already begun work on or even completed all 24 action items necessary to protect and nurture our Texas state insect, the Monarch butterfly.”
In 1996, there were around one billion monarchs, but habitat loss from agriculture and suffering wintering habitats in Mexico have wreaked havoc on the species, which have experiences around a 90 percent decline.
San Antonio knows the majestic monarch well, as the Alamo City is smack-dab in the middle of the butterfly's migration route from Canada and the central and eastern U.S. to Mexico.
“San Antonio is well-known as an attractive and welcoming city for visitors – particularly international visitors,” Taylor says in a press release. “I am pleased that we have set the bar so high in our efforts to attract and care for a one very important set of visitors, migrating Monarch butterflies. San Antonio is the first and only city to be named Monarch Champion.