Butterfly Kings – Featurette/Trailer
Each year millions of monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles from the eastern United States and Canada to a small mountain range in central Mexico, where they cluster on the trees to wait out winter.
Then they breed, and head back north, with each successive generation flying a small part of the journey, until they have re-inhabited their summer grounds. It’s an epic journey for such a small creature, but that’s not where the story ends.
During filming, this little butterfly film turned into a twisted tail, entangled with international environmental issues, the struggles of the local people, and surprisingly, a turf war amongst professional scientists, environmentalists, ruthless tree poachers, and the Mexican government itself. Each with their own opinions and agendas concerning the value of the Monarch butterfly. It’s an insect that has become a symbol of nature for many. Embraced by schools as a teaching tool and cherished by nature enthusiasts, the monarch butterfly is an amazing national resource that is in danger of getting lost in its own politics.
BUTTERFLY KINGS is a new form of documentary
EP_01 – Monarchs – General overview of Monarch issues and why we should care
EP_02 – Discovering the great Migration – Story of scientists who discovered that Monarchs travel to Mexico to overwinter. Circa 1975. “We know they were going somewhere, we just didn’t know where, or how. How renowned scientists Browner and Calvert discovered the overwintering sites. Chip’s tagging program.
EP_03 – Monarch Fever – Tagging program. Chips followers, and Monarch fanatics talk about growing butterfly gardens, planting milkweeds, and trading crystalists in their never ending quest living the life of a Monarch fanatic.
Ep – 04 – Conservation efforts in Mexico: Day of the dead, deforestation, Monarch in danger. illegal logging by Talamantes crime gang. The people who live there live in Haciendas, similar to US Reservations, where they collectively manage the tree resources for their people. Teach these people how to make money from Monarch tourism, rather than selling their wood. New tree planting efforts.
Ep – 05 – Conservation in North America. Milkweeds gardens. Natural landscapes for highways and homes. Why green grass? Round Up ready crops. Man’s insistence on monolithic ecosystems cause real threat to many wildlife. Runoff Fever. Natural landscaping
Ep – 06 – Why we care. Learning tool. Brings attention to other larger conservation issues. Intrinsic value. Possible keystone species.
EP_7 – What we can do: In mexico. Visit tourism, activism. In USA, Butterfly gardens, open minds to naturalist landscaping. End Runoff. End Roundup ready crops.
EP_8 – How Monarchas are used in education. They are the insect ambassador. Kids love them. what do they learn.
EP_09 – How do they navigate, and how do we make sense of their collective consciousness. Is there something we can learn from them in terms of cooperation? Are they an alien species? Are there other examples in nature of survival by individual and collective behavior? How to they achieve the biological diapause and multi generation re-migration. are they successful because they are cooperative, or are they strongly acting on their own, but with some genetic predisposition to all behave the same.