Often people are not aware of the importance for the environment of insects, including butterflies. As a rule, people believe that insects are absolutely insignificant because of their size and because people erroneously believe that these species do not face a threat of extinction.
However, in actuality, the situation is totally different and the modern society needs to pay more attention to the problem of the environmental protection, which should start not only with the solution of global problems, such as the minimization of greenhouse gases emission, but they should start from their local environment and with beings which they think to be unimportant for the environment ”“ insects. In this respect, the visit to the Cockrell Butterfly Center in Houston, which I have attended recently, can be very helpful for those people who do not understand the full significance of butterflies and insects to nature and preservation of biodiversity and who have no idea of the diversity of butterflies which exists in the wild nature.
First of all, I should say that the visit to the Cockrell Butterfly Center in Houston would be particularly interesting and useful for people living in Houston because the center is mainly focused on the local community. To put it more precisely, the major goal of the Cockrell Butterfly Center in Houston is the education of people, visitors who attend the center. The education aims at the promotion of butterfly watching and gardening. These activities are not very popular and, frankly speaking, I was surprised to learn about the diversity of butterflies which visitors could see in the center, but, what was more important, it was the educational background of the center. In fact, visitors do not simply attend the Cockrell Butterfly Center in Houston. It is not a mere entertainment but it is rather an amazing educational program which encourages people to start butterfly watching and gardening. On visiting the center, it is hardly possible to get rid of the desire to start butterfly watching and gardening.
In this respect, it should be said that the Cockrell Butterfly Center provides visitors with detailed information of butterflies, their watching and gardening. However, primarily, the center catches the attention of visitors by the enormous diversity of butterflies, which they can see in the center. The center has butterflies from different parts of the world and all the species presented in the center are important. Visitors grow conscious of the importance of the conservation of butterflies in the course of their visit. However, at the beginning it is the emotions and feelings of visitors that are affected the most. As they see butterflies, many of which are unique and extinct, visitors cannot help from getting more and more interested in butterflies. I would not be surprised, if some visitors told me that they had seen a few butterflies in their life, while in the center they get an opportunity to see as much butterflies as they could not have seen for their entire life in the natural environment. In such a way, the center definitely evokes the interest of visitors and, thus, it makes them conscious of the importance of the environmental protection.
At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that the conservation and protection of butterflies from extinction are major goals of the Cockrell Butterfly Center in Houston which complement another important goal ”“ the goal of promotion of butterfly watching and gardening. In this respect, it should be said that, at the beginning visitors are interested and surprised as they see the diversity of butterflies.
However, gradually, as they learn more and more information on butterflies the role they play in nature, their contribution to the biodiversity, and numerous threats butterflies face in the modern world, visitors understand that butterflies are really facing a threat of extinction because of human activities. At the same time, they understand that the extinction of butterflies will have disastrous effects for the nature, biodiversity and, therefore, humans. The center perfectly illustrates how closely species are intertwined. Visitors attending the center can see that butterflies are essential for numerous plants, many of which exotic and unique for the local nature, while butterflies cannot survive without the plants too. In such a way, the extinction of either butterflies or plants will definitely lead to the overall extinction of both butterflies and plants. Moreover, the chain reaction will carry on, if butterflies and plants start to disappear since other species will be affected too.
Thus, visitors of the Cockrell Butterfly Center in Houston grow conscious of existing environmental problems. At first, they are admired with the beauty of nature and diversity of species. After that they learn about actual threats to butterflies as well as natural environment at large. Finally, they come to the idea of importance of the environmental protection and, eventually, the center promotes the butterfly watching and gardening. In such a way, the center evokes the interest of the public to butterflies and nature and teaches people to maintain nature and biodiversity.