It’s the ultimate eco showdown…
In the final installment of a three part series on animal eco-warriors, Gingerly Green takes a look at one of earth’s smaller creatures and its big impact on the earth.
So, we’ve looked at worms and bees. What could possibly “bee” next (haha). How about we stick with the winged family and talk about butterflies. Yep. Butterflies. Those beautiful, graceful creatures that delight us each year.
(Well, delight everyone but me, that is. I can’t abide any flying creature of the moth/butterfly family – they terrify me. They land on you and thunk off you – if they’re big enough – and I just don’t like that. I’m pretty sure this whole irrational irritation with the species stems from a childhood experience of waking up to a GIGANTIC – and I mean huge – moth that was on my bedroom ceiling… I’m know my parents thought something truly bad was happening with how loudly I screamed from under the covers… But, I digress. Back to butterflies.)
According to GardenGuides.com, “Strange as it may sound, butterflies really do play a critical role in our world’s environment. Butterflies were created ‘in the beginning. . .’ to help perform the unique task of plant pollination. Granted, there are many other pollination processes, but perhaps none as remarkable, magical, and completely natural as that of the butterfly. Research has also proven that butterflies are very responsive to environmental changes. For example, when environmental changes are negative, these changes often adversely affect the natural habitats of butterflies, resulting in the decrease or even destruction of their nectar sources. Subsequently, the butterfly population decreases, and quite possibly some species could become extinct. Therefore, the butterfly actually acts as an important gauge for those researchers interested in how our world’s environment is behaving--or, misbehaving.”
A gauge? These tiny fluttering creatures actually help us understand environmental changes? That’s kinda cool. Plus, they work hand in hand with the mighty bee to help keep our plant population alive. That’s pretty darn cool. (They still might freak me out, but I can at least admit just how important they are to our ecosystem.)