KCS, CP, GATX, Local Rotary Clubs and NASCO Launch 60,000 Tree Challenge North American Boxcar Tour to Help Save the Monarch Butterfly

Kansas City Southern (KCS), Canadian Pacific, Monterrey Metropolitan Rotary Club (Rotary) and NASCO announced the launch of the Save the Monarch Butterfly 60,000 Tree Challenge North American Boxcar Tour to raise $100,000 USD. The funds raised will be used to plant 60,000 oyamel trees at El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Michoacán, Mexico to help reestablish the monarch population. This past week, the Monarch Mariposa Boxcar rolled out of the GATX shop in Hearne, Texas.

Monarch butterflies are among the most recognizable butterfly species in North America. In addition to being an international symbol of the environment, monarch butterflies contribute to the health of the planet. Pollinators are critical to global food security and healthy natural ecosystems, but they’re disappearing at an alarming rate. Beloved across its trinational North American range, the iconic monarch has only a 10 percent chance of persisting above the extinction threshold over the next 30 years. The time is now to protect monarchs and their incredible 3,000-mile migration.

Last month, the International Union for Conservation of Nature red-listed the migratory monarch as endangered, placing it just two steps from extinction. While this listing is not the same as a listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, it is another loud call to action that an all-hands-on-deck approach for monarch and pollinator conservation is needed.

In support of the 60,000 Tree Challenge, a crowd-funding QR code is featured on the side of the boxcar. Starting this fall, the boxcar will stop at events in Windsor, Ont.; Chicago; Kansas City, Mo.; Laredo, Texas; Nuevo Laredo, Tamps.; Monterrey, Nuevo Leon; San Luis Potosi, S.L.P.; Morelia, Michoacán; and end at the El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. In coordination with local Rotary clubs, these events will generate awareness and raise funds to help save the butterfly. This innovative environmental project is an example of the commitment of the sponsoring organizations to sustainability.

Monarchs appear to use a combination of air currents, the magnetic pull of the earth and the position of the sun, among other guides, to find their way south to Michoacán, Mexico for the winter and to the United States and Canada for the summer. Monarchs only travel during the day and need to find a roost at night, where they gather at waystations to rest, refuel, breed, and lay eggs along the way. Many of these locations are used year after year.

Although the oyamel forests in Mexico are recognized as important to monarch butterflies, deforestation and climate change over decades have fragmented the habitat. The disappearance of the oyamel forest affects the monarch butterfly and the local communities that rely on the forest for their livelihoods, water, healthy soil and erosion control.

The monarch butterfly represents North American unity. Its migration path closely follows the CP and KCS networks, putting the two companies in a unique position to help. In December 2021, KCS was acquired by CP in a $31 billion transaction. Immediately following the acquisition, KCS was placed in trust and will continue to operate independently pending merger approval by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB). If the two railroads receive STB approval, they will be combined, forming the first truly North American railroad, which will be called Canadian Pacific Kansas City.

-via Press Release

This article was posted on: August 8, 2022