It's no secret the pollinators are in trouble. Oh sure, you see plenty of butterflies, bees, flies, and other insects out there and even bats (yes, they're pollinators), so really, what's the big deal, right?
Still not convinced?
To carry that point further, some plants require specific pollinators in order to get good production of their fruit. (And I use "fruit" in the general definition of whatever edible the plant produces.) Bees are the most well-known of the pollinators, but other insects and birds are more efficient at pollinating certain plants.
If you're one of the people who has asked me, "Does it really matter if the monarchs disappear?" I can wholeheartedly answer, "YES."
My philosophy in general is this: I believe that every living thing on the earth is here because it has a purpose.
In regard to the monarchs, perhaps we can live without them, but it's more complicated than that. The monarchs are in decline because of several factors, not the least of which is that their habitat is disappearing due to urbanization, and to a greater extent, due to the agricultural use of pesticides* that kill milkweed, the only food their babies eat.
If you think that monarchs are the only pollinator that is being affected by the pesticides, think again. They're just more visible and recognizable than most. They're the poster child for the greater problem we humans are causing in the environment.
It's a complicated issue, for sure, but if nothing else, during this, National Pollinator Week, please give these things some consideration. Think before you use pesticides yourself. You may not only be saving the pollinator's meal, you could be helping to save your own.
* Pesticide is the general term used by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), the USDA and the EPA, which includes, but is not limited to herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. Read more here.