ADM: A wanton act of
environmental destruction

Breeding habitat and food for the Monarch butterfly and their larvae have all been destroyed

July 4, 2022

North of Montreal’s Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau international airport, a wanton act of environmental destruction has blighted the landscape.

Milkweed plant Monarch Fields

What remains of the Milkweed plants

On the 19-hectare Monarch Butterfly Fields, owned by the Canadian government and leased by Aéroports de Montréal (ADM), the ADM has mowed down the whole area, destroying more than 4,000 milkweed plants. These plants are essential for the reproductive phase and survival of the endangered Monarch butterflies that migrate from Mexico to Montreal Island. Milkweed is the food of their larvae, then, as adults, they feed on the nectar of other essential plants on site that provide them with the energy for the long migration south to Mexico. So the breeding habitat and food for the Monarch, and their larvae in those fields, have all been destroyed.

This devastation has taken place in Montreal, a Monarch GOLD status city, an honour conferred on the city for being supportive and nurturing of the Monarch Butterfly!

Green Coalition denounces the razing of these fields and this grim act of environmental irresponsibility on the part of ADM.

ADM mowed down these fields in the middle of the breeding season, an annihilation of a whole generation of Monarchs.

Along with the butterflies, 150 species of birds visit or inhabit these fields and they are greatly affected by the razed earth, along with snakes, mice, shrews, marmots, insects, slugs, snails, and voles that serve as food for the birds and wildlife. All this natural life has been wiped out.

Mowed down Monarch Fields

Mowed down Monarch Butterfly Fields

What a terrible paradox! In December 2022, Montreal will host COP 15, a global Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, bringing delegates from around the world. The Convention’s Secretariat graces our city, yet the ADM is brazenly destroying Montreal’s local biodiversity before the citizens’ own eyes and in front of the whole world.

The Monarch Fields form an integral, bio-diverse part of Montreal’s last large, unprotected, marshland and riverine ecosystem. The 215 hectares of this irreplaceable wetland ecosystem north of the airport must not be destroyed. It is the last of its kind on Montreal Island.

Monarch Butterfly Fields trampled by heavy machinery

Monarch Butterfly Fields trampled by heavy machinery

For the sake of biodiversity conservation, the entire 215-hectare ecosystem must be preserved – for the Monarch Butterflies, for the birds and wildlife, and for all citizens, in Montreal, Québec and Canada!

For more information:
David Fletcher: • 438 526-7684
Patrick Barnard: • 514 463-0573

Images: David Fletcher
Feature image: Wild Turkey amid the destruction of the Monarch Butterfly Fields

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There are 4 comments

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  1. Irwin Rapoport

    As noted in the previous article about the mowing of the Monarch Fields by the Aeroports de Montreal, This action was deliberate and designed to wipe out the ecosystem so that they can develop the land and construct new buildings. Their reasoning is clear, if the web of life that makes the area special no longer exists, it then merely a field of land that can be developed. We should all be angry. There are so many existing commercial sites and massive parking lots in Dorval and Saint Laurent that can be redeveloped. We need a moratorium on the development of the remaining wilderness, wetlands, green spaces, and farm land in the greater Montreal area.

  2. Doris Potter

    This is outrageous! Just when I thought that some protection was being afforded the Monarch Fields with the announcement that the medical mask plant would not be built in this area, now we see total destruction of the Milkweed plants.

    Not only the plants have been destroyed but small wildlife such as mice, voles, baby rabbits, ground-nesting birds, snakes, snails, beetles, and grasshoppers have been crushed by the wheels or shredded by the blades of the mowers.

    As someone once pointed out: “There is no such thing as an empty field”. Shame on the ADM and those responsible for allowing this to happen.

  3. Louise Legault

    J’ai peine à croire que la tonte de ces herbes et de ces arbustes est nécessaire pour la sécurité des vols à l’aéroport PET.

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