Today we discuss the urgency of saving the threatened monarch migration.
My guest, Sara Dykman, works in amphibian research and as an outdoor educator, guiding young people into nature so they can delight in its complicated brilliance, and is the founder of BeyondaBook.org, which fosters lifelong learners, boundary-pushers, explorers, and stewards. She joins me today to discuss her journey of riding a bicycle 10,201 miles to learn about the migration and be a voice for the monarchs. Sara shares how and why the monarchs have suffered dramatic declines in recent decades, the challenges they are faced with, and how we can all help support the monarchs and protect them from extinction.
- What the annual, multinational, multi-generational monarch migration looks like
- Why the monarch population has suffered such dramatic declines in recent decades
- How everyone can help the monarch by planting native flowers, including milkweed
- The importance of milkweed and why planting it can keep monarch populations healthy
- How we can inspire our children to tune into nature so that they have richer lives
“Small action adds up. All of us are in this together and all of us can play a part and be part of the solution.” – Sara Dykman
Sara Dykman is the founder of BeyondaBook.org, which fosters lifelong learners, boundary-pushers, explorers, and stewards.
She works in amphibian research and as an outdoor educator, guiding young people into nature so they can delight in its complicated brilliance. Sara divides her time between seasonal amphibian and reptile jobs, outdoor education, and adventures.
She hopes her own adventures—walking from Mexico to Canada, canoeing the Missouri River from source to sea, and cycling over 80,000 miles across North and South America (including the monarch migration trip)—will empower young and old to dream big.
Sara made history when she became the first person to bicycle alongside monarch butterflies on their storied annual migration—a round-trip adventure that included three countries and more than 10,000 miles. Equally remarkable, she did it solo, on a bike cobbled together from used parts. Her panniers were recycled buckets.
In her book, Bicycling with Butterflies, she recounts her incredible journey and the dramatic ups and downs of the nearly nine-month odyssey, where she navigates unmapped roads in foreign countries, checks roadside milkweed for monarch eggs, and shares her passion with eager schoolchildren, skeptical bar patrons, and unimpressed border officials.
Sara’s compelling story confirms the urgency of saving the threatened monarch migration—and the other threatened systems of nature that affect the survival of us all.
“The population is declining dramatically, and the reason for this is habitat loss. Habitat is home and habitat is food, and without native nectar plants to provide the adults with nectar, without the milkweed, the monarch can’t survive. They can’t thrive. They can’t exist. And so, the equation is very simple… No milkweed, no monarchs. Lots of milkweed, lots of monarchs.” – Sara Dykman
Check out the video below to watch our interview:
- Bicycling with Butterflies: My 10,201-Mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration by Sara Dykman
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