Wilderness Inspirations™

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Leo and Dorothy Keeler
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Join Us in Restoring Monarch Butterflies!


Thank you for caring! (For easy tips on planting milkweed and growing your own Monarch Waystation, click here.)

Three things are threatening Monarchs as never before:

1) In the last decade, three massive storms have hit central Mexico in January and February, killing from 50 % to 80% of the overwintering Monarchs.

2) Development of shopping centers, subdivisions, and factories accounts for an annual loss of over 2 million acres of habitat a year.

3) Monarch butterflies will only lay their eggs on milkweed. In 1996, genetically modified corn and soybeans were introduced that were resistant to an herbicide commonly referred to as Roundup. Milkweed can survive tilling but not Roundup. Over 100 million acres of habitat have been lost due to these genetically modified crops.

Our Kickstarter Project, Milkweed for Monarchs Butterfly Garden, was launched to help restore monarch butterflies across North America.

To see the photographic highlights of our success so far, please click here, here, here, here. and here.

THE BIG PICTURE:

  • Our original plan was to begin breeding monarchs and releasing them back into the wild. However, we later discovered the risks of introducing or spreading disease, so we are now shifting our strategy to a "Rescue and Release" approach. This entails finding monarch eggs or caterpillars in the wild and bringing them indoors to raise them. This keeps them safe from predators. In the wild, a monarch egg has about a 3-5% survival rate. Monarchs that have been lucky enough to have been "Rescued and Raised" have up to a 95% survival rate.

  • Later, after we have mastered the art of monarch raising and releasing, we will launch a statewide campaign to restore butterflies by involving Montana teachers. We will offer assistance to teachers who create a classroom project that results in a Monarch Waystation*. Grant money for school gardens is available as well as many free online resources for classroom projects. We'll share our sources to find them.

  • Finally - We live 30 miles from Yellowstone National Park, which draws 3 million visitors a year. Our ultimate goal is to create an interpretive traveling exhibit and promote Monarch Waystations during summer presentations held in or near the park.

  • That's our vision. We hope sharing our vision will encourage you to plant milkweed, create a Monarch Waystation of your own, and possibly "Rescue, Raise, And Release" monarchs in your area!

    On behalf of Monarch butterflies everywhere, thanks for caring!



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    In October, 2005, the Keelers were given the honor of being selected as two of the 40 founding members of the International League of Conservation Photographers. The ILCP was initially founded with 40 Fellows considered to be some of the most talented and passionate nature and wildlife photographers of our generation.

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    The American Indian Butterfly Legend

    If anyone desires a wish to come true they must first catch a butterfly and whisper that wish to it. Since a butterfly can make no sound, the butterfly can not reveal the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit who hears and sees all.

    So, according to the legend, by making a wish and giving the butterfly its freedom, in gratitude the wish will be taken to the heavens by the butterfly and be granted by the Great Spirit.

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    All images and web site content Copyright © Leo and Dorothy Keeler

    All images are registered and protected by copyright laws. Written permission from the photographers,and payment
    of a licensing fee, is required prior to any publication or use. All rights remain with the photographers and are fully reserved.

    Please contact us for any use of these images: info@akwildlife.com
    Wilderness Inspirations - P.O. Box 433 - Emigrant, Montana 59027 - 406-333-4366