Monarch butterflies are one of the most fascinating species around. They’re the only insects to migrate to warmer climates, or hibernate through winter. Each year, 1000’s of butterflies travel 2,500 miles from Canada and the northern U.S. to Michoacan, Mexico. Miraculously, they return to the same forest year after year. The success of their migration is an indication of the health of our environment. An article in today’s Washington Post reports a devastatingly low number of Monarchs reached their destination this year, mostly due to loss of habitat. What can we do to help?
- Stop using pesticides on lawns.
- Plant milkweed, the Monarch’s host plant. Monarch butterflies will only lay their eggs on milkweed, which is often removed from yards and building sites.
- Plant native nectar sources, such as coneflower and black-eyed Susan.
- If you live in VA, show your support for pollinators by ordering one of the new pollinator license plates.
- Raise Monarchs with your school or family this spring. Refer to Monarch Watch to learn how.
One small effort makes a world of difference. Try it.