August 15, 2023

If the North American monarch butterfly sounds like it has a regal name, you’re right. It’s thought the butterfly was named in honor of King William III of England because the insect’s distinct black and orange color is that of a king’s secondary title, Prince of Orange.

This majestic member of the wild kingdom plays an important role as a pollinator, and we’re offering Wing and Feather Insurance to monarch butterflies so they’ll continue to be part of our ecosystem far into the future.


Wing and Feather Insurance from Wild Kingdom

Here’s why monarch butterflies are all aflutter about Wing and Feather Insurance:

  • Travel coverage — Offers travel reimbursement due to weather delays on a butterfly’s journey.
  • No copays on medication — Ensures butterflies have medications they need to fight off parasites and other diseases as they travel across countries and climates.
  • Eye exams — Helps make sure the photoreceptors in their huge compound eyes are detecting ultraviolet light.
  • Pesticide detection — Alerts monarch butterflies when they’re flying into areas with high pesticide usage.
  • Repainting — Keeps monarch butterflies looking sharp as ever so their black and orange color stands out.

Now, that’s coverage fit for a king — and a butterfly.


Supporting monarch butterfly conservation efforts

North American monarch butterflies are divided into two groups — an eastern population, which is seen from the Plains to the East Coast, and a western population, which stays west of the Rocky Mountains.

In one of the true wonders of the world, monarch butterflies follow the same migratory routes they have for thousands of years. And every fall, monarch butterflies head south to the dense forests of Mexico’s Central Highlands, arriving there like clockwork around the first of November. While millions of monarch butterflies migrate each year, overwintering populations have decreased by more than 80% since the 1980s.

Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom is proud to support like-minded conservation organizations like the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s SAFE — Saving Animals from Extinction — program, which is working hard to ensure monarch butterflies frequent backyards and parks around North America in greater numbers.


Threats to monarch butterfly conservation

North American monarch butterflies face several obstacles:

  • Habitat loss — Many breeding areas monarchs have used for centuries are now industrial or urban developments.
  • Pesticides — Increased use of pesticides in agricultural areas have resulted in the reduction of milkweed, a critical food source during the larvae stage of a butterfly’s life.
  • Environmental changes — Increasing temperature extremes are making the monarch butterflies’ annual migration even more challenging.
  • Disease — Infection by parasites is a serious concern, with non-native tropical milkweed acting as gathering place for many parasites.


What’s being done to save the monarch butterfly?

Because most monarch butterflies have a life span of only a few weeks (except the last generation of each migration, which can live up to nine months), traditional conservation approaches in local zoos aren’t as successful. SAFE has focused on outreach and educational efforts, such as encouraging communities to create more green spaces and plant more native monarch-safe plants (such as milkweed) and reduce the use of pesticides and greenhouse gases.


Just as we help protect wildlife through our support of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, we also help protect the human kingdom. Learn more about how you can help protect your kingdom.


Source: SAFE, Saving Animals From Extinction, North American Monarch Program, May 2020-2023.



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