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Monarch Butterfly Crisis


. . . Feb 2017 update: there has been a 27% reduction in forest the monarch butterfly occupied in Mexico this year compared to last year partly due to a late winter storm in Mexico last March which killed millions of monarchs. Coverage was up, however, from record lows of the past few years due to mild weather in the USA and Mexico; fall of 2016 was warm in the USA during migration time and December was warm in Mexico which led to higher numbers than expected. Due to deforestation, storms, weather changes, and migration needs for food, the monarch butterfly population still needs our help. There are many factors we cannot control, however, we can do our part by planting native milkweed and nectar plants, and avoiding use of pesticides. Learn about the monarchs and their migration . . .

The monarch butterfly is a species in crisis! Its key threats are the loss of milkweed in the U.S. and deforestation in Mexico, where they overwinter before returning to North America for breeding. Milkweed is the only plant that monarchs will lay eggs on and the only plant that the caterpillars can eat. But widespread use of pesticides, particularly in the farmlands, is eradicating their food supply. So please do your part to save the monarchs by planting milkweed and avoiding pesticides in your garden. Choose native species such as Asclepias tuberosa (butterflyweed). Bring back the monarchs, they are beautiful in appearance, useful as pollinators, and their innate ability to navigate long distances across the continent is a natural wonder.

All types of native bees are also in decline. Many of the plants that grow in our environment depend on bees for pollination. They pollinate flowers, fruits, and vegetables and their services provide food for the butterflies. Help preserve our environment . . . learn how to add plants to your garden to attract butterflies and help pollinators. Click here for your
Butterfly/Bee Guide to plant preferences.

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