Movie highlights Texas' role in life of butterfly

GALVESTON, Texas - Moody Gardens is showing a special film, Flight of the Butterflies in 3D, that highlights Texas' role in a butterfly's life.

The Monarch butterfly's journey goes from the Mexican mountains all the way up north to Canada with an important stop in Texas.

"Texas is vital to the migration process," producer Jonathan Barker said. "It's the place where the annual cycle begins again, effectively."

The wild Texas weather and the state's drought could severely affect the ever-threatening Monarch population. Last year's 59 percent drop in population was the highest level of decline in 20 years.

"If you have bad storms in Texas, if they get thrown off course, that could do some damage. And if there's a drought, it could also do some damage," writer Wendy MacKeigan said.

Another devastating drought would also kill off the milkweed plant, which is a vital plant to the Monarch butterfly's survival. It is the only plant the Monarch caterpillar will eat, and the milkweed plant is its only essential habitat.

For those who buy a ticket to see Flight of the Butterflies at Moody Gardens, they will also receive milkweed seeds to plant on their own. A portion of all ticket sales will go to the largest leading conservation organization in Mexico.

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