caterpillars on milkweed
A Shell employee built a protective cage to hatch caterpillars on milkweed

Partnering with leading conservation groups, Shell aims to provide food and shelter for Monarch butterflies on the epic migrations each year.

Just like a car needs fuel, Monarch butterflies need a place to eat and rest every spring and fall during their migration. Shell is working with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the Wildlife Habitat Council and Houston Wilderness to include plants and sheltered areas to “refuel” butterflies on their migratory path.

The importance of pollinators

When people think of the term pollinators, they probably think of bees and humming birds. Monarch butterflies and many other insects also play an important role in pollinating plants, which is critical to our food supply.

Pollinators are vital to the health and economy of the world, propagating wild flowering plants as well as many agricultural crops. Insect pollination is vital to food security, contributing to at least 35% of the world’s food production and pollinating many other plants needed for beverages, fibers, medicines and spices. Yet the monarch butterfly population has decreased by as much as 90% in the last twenty years in a large part to habitat loss and other factors.

monarch on a patio plant
Another Shell employee took this photo on their back patio to show employees how easy it is to create a pollinator garden.

An epic journey from generation to generation

East of the Rocky Mountains, monarch butterflies can’t stay in the cold US and Canadian winters and must migrate south to Mexico each year. Using air currents, thermal updrafts and sheer willpower, they can travel several thousand miles.

In the spring, they begin a multi-generational trek northward. Descendants of the original south-bound travelers instinctively go back to the same areas that their ancestors left in the fall.

The path is not easy and requires food along the way. With more and more land being developed, monarchs need assistance to successfully make the journey.

Powerful collaborations seek to make a difference

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund is bringing together public agencies and corporations to save these important species.

The Fund has awarded more than $11.6 million to 75 projects since 2015. Together, these grants are working to ensure that our native pollinators will have a future.

Shell employees also received information on how they can create pollinator gardens in their backyards and patios. They have formed a “Conservation Network” on internal social media to share pollinator gardening success stories and photos.

Shell Woodcreek is a Gold-certified location by the Wildlife Habitat Council. Successful Wildlife Habitat Council Conservation Certification programs have been proven to provide substantial benefits to communities. At Shell Woodcreek, the use of native plants has decreased water usage and labor costs while providing food and shelter for all types of pollinators. At the Shell Technical Center Houston (STCH), a large open space project is filled with native plants and trees to give migrating monarchs a place to recharge and refuel.

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