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- Adult Ages 10+
- Child Ages 2-10 years old
- Infant Ages 0-2
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- Kama'aina- keiki Ages 2-10 years old
Meet Hawaii’s Butterflies
Visit Hawaii’s only walk-in butterfly flight house and learn about how we are trying to save Hawaii’s hugely declining butterfly population.
This hands-on educational experience features 🐛 caterpillars, chrysalis, and butterflies 🦋.
Butterflies bring joy to everyone around them. Our hands-on tours promote education not only about the environment, but also regarding insects, the benefits of butterflies, and the ways in which to take care of our ‘aina here in Hawaii.
All available spots are shown in real time. Only open spots will be available to book. We cannot accommodate any additional guests who do not have a pre-booked spot.
How alluring it is to see the beautiful monarch butterflies, “the king of butterflies,” roaming around your garden and the vicinity. For the people of America, monarch butterflies are always a part of their childhood memories, from which they learned about pupae, larvae, metamorphosis, and a score of other things related to its life cycle.
But recent studies reveal some disheartening data regarding the monarch species. Endangered species like lions, elephants, and porpoises grabbed everybody’s attention, but the decreasing population of monarchs was only very recently noticed. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service disclosed recently that from the year 1990, around a billion monarch butterflies have vanished.
This crucial data was revealed after a petition was filed by an environmental group and a researcher on the monarch species. They alleged that the use of weed-resistant material and herbicides is ruining their original habitat and may well be the main reason leading to the consistent extinction of the monarchs. The use of such harmful chemicals led to the destruction of milkweed plants, the only plant on which the monarch caterpillars feed. This review is proof of the massacre encountered by this lovely little creature.
The extinction of monarch butterflies derived from the decreasing numbers reaching Mexico by way of migration in the last two decades. Now, it has gone below the lowest recorded level of a mere 35 million. Instead of spreading across the whole 45 acres like in 1996, it covered only an area of 1.7 acres that included 11 sanctuaries this winter. The World Wildlife Fund announced this fact and concluded that the expansion of agricultural areas has led to this disaster. In 1980, around 26 acres in the Midwest were covered with the hardy plant milkweed, but now the grasslands of the Upper Midwest have been drastically converted into soya bean and corn fields, which are cultivated using a large amount of herbicides and weed-resistant chemicals to protect their cultivation. The female monarch butterflies flutter across this area in search of a host plant to lay their eggs, little knowing that their habitat has been wiped off from this landscape in an alarming way. By 1999, around 97% of milkweed was eradicated. Other than these areas, milkweed was also commonly found along the roadsides, edges of farms, and fields, but with the regular use of herbicides, it was rooted out from all the other places as well.
For the last two years, another factor has added to their disappearance. Studies reveal that the swinging climate probably due to global warming in could also be the main reason for their decreasing population. In 2012 the United States saw temperatures far above normal in the spring. This led the monarchs to migrate earlier to the colder climate before the milkweed plant emerged. The following year experienced a severe cold climate, causing a hindrance to their migration towards the north.
Another factor could be the after-effects of uncertain climates, like the spreading of diseases, parasites, and other bacterial infections.
Still another angle is that the population of the males is decreasing drastically, resulting in the reproduction occurring merely during the long migration period.
Researchers also believe that illegal logging might have also contributed to this shocking disaster.
With a view to restoring the destruction caused to the monarch butterfly species, the Fish and Wildlife Service, along with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and National Wildlife Federation, has made an attempt to grow as many milkweed plants as possible to create a habitat for this endangered species.
The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a petition to include monarch butterflies on the list of endangered species to protect them and help them survive. The petition is still under review by the Fish and Wildlife agency. For an “On the Ground Conservation” project, the agency has provided $2 million to make the basic arrangements.
Some federations are helping to create awareness among the locals and the farmers about the importance of milkweed and its role in multiplying the population of the endangered monarch species. They will provide milkweed seeds for everyone who is interested and willing to contribute in this attempt to create a natural habitat for this species. These allotted seeds are supposed to be planted in any open spaces like roadsides, forests, parks, patio flower boxes, house backyards, and several other similar places.
The Fish and Wildlife agency has decided to cultivate the milkweed plant in refuges and several other areas under its control to develop a natural habitat in 200,000 acres of land and 35 corridors Interstate, from Texas to Minnesota, which is believed to be the main area where above 50% of monarch butterflies migrate. They are planning to persuade the other states and federal agencies to follow the same procedure and cultivate this hardy plant in public lands. Encouraging the Canadian and Mexican governments, the Fish and Wildlife agency will surely have worked out an impressive plan to increase its population manifolds.
Two cities, namely St. Louis and Charlotte, have worked out plans and were successful in accomplishing them to claim themselves as the present sanctuaries for the monarch butterfly. The president of the National Wildlife Federation, Collin O’Mara suggests that every homeowner should follow the same plan and create a habitat for these species in their garden or backyard, wherever a place is available.
The National Wildlife Federation and The Fish and Wildlife Service are committing $1.2 million and $2 million respectively to be used across the nation to work with businesses, community groups, schools, and local government. This fund is used to reach the goal of creating a habitat in 20,000 acres and 750 Monarch Way stations in schools and other premises.
Some initiatives are also taken to cultivate the milkweed plants in ISU greenhouses. A thousand seeds of the milkweed plant belonging to nine different species will be grown in ISU greenhouses. When it reaches the seedling stage, it will be replanted into the plots used for demonstration in the thirteen farms involved in this research. The researchers present there will carefully monitor the plants, like how they thrive, adapt, and proliferate. They will also study the monarch butterflies arriving at the site, its egg laying pattern, and all other stages of life.
Such research will help the people to understand the growing pattern of different milkweed species, and they could follow the same in their own Monarch Way station.
Our farm is a small, family-run business with a limited amount of staff to accommodate each group. Our tours are typically sold out in advance and therefore we will not give any refunds within a 24-hour period of the start of the tour.
Our address is 820 Olowalu Village Rd on the road to Lahaina (look on Google maps). Driving directions will also be automatically emailed with your tour confirmation. Late arrivals/changes of plans will not be refunded with less than 24 hours notice of your tour under any circumstances.