A-Z of Endangered Species – Monarch Butterfly

This week I have managed to reach the half way mark and for the letter M I have made a Monarch Butterfly. The Monarch butterfly is one of the wonders of the world, every year in October thousands of the butterflies migrate from the forests of Canada and North America all the way down to the forests of Mexico, it is a journey of thousands of miles and the butterflies do it every year without fail. It is only the 4th generation of Monarch butterfly that makes the journey, generation 1, 2 and 3 stay in the forests of Canada but the 4 generation is able to live much longer than the usual 40 days enabling it to make the epic journey to the warmer forests for the winter.

Climate change is a big problem for the Monarch butterfly, changes in weather patterns and temperatures may effect the butterfles migration routes, Colder winters would be devastating for the butterflies in Mexico and warmer dryer summers could mean that the usual summer habitat would move much further north. 

Another problem for the butterflies is something I have mentioned many times in this series of balloons, it is deforestation, so many species are at risk from the dramatic loss of forests, the WWF is working hard to help prevent the loss of the butterflies habitat by promoting good forest management and sustainable tourism. 

You can read more about this amazing butterfly at the WWF page here - http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/monarch-butterfly

If you would like to make a donation towards the WWF-UK then I have set up a Just giving donations page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies . 100% of the monies raised on the Just Giving page will go directly to the WWF-UK.

A-Z OF ENDANGERED SPECIES – Hercules Beetle

I have reached week 8 of my endangered species made from balloons and for the letter H I have decided to feature my first insect of the series, This fascinating creature is called the Hercules beetle and is one of the largest beetles in the world. living in the jungles of south America it spends its time foraging through the leaf litter looking for food. 

The Hercules beetle is named for it's sheer size with some being measured up to 18cm in length but it is rare for them to get this big. This amazing beetle can carry up to 850 times its own body weight which makes it one of the strongest creatures on earth for its size. To give you an idea of its strength it is the equivalent of me lifting up a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

There are 13 different types of Hercules beetle and the male beetles all have the distinctive horn pincers, some have horns which are longer than the actual body of the beetle. As is the case with many animals in the jungles of South America these incredible creatures are under threat due to the deforestation of their natural habitat. They are also affected by water and air pollution. 

You can find out more about the Hercules Beetle here - http://a-z-animals.com/animals/hercules-beetle/

You can donate to the WWF-UK by visiting this link - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies

Next week it is the letter I and I will be featuring a very popular animal.