Are Monarchs at Risk?
Each fall millions of monarch butterflies migrate to overwintering sites in Mexico and to a scattering of locations along the coast of California. In the spring monarchs return to breeding areas and the cycle starts again: a two-way migration that is one of the most spectacular onthe planet. Yet, this migration appears to be declining.
Researchers are working to determine the causes of this decline; some theories include:
• Loss of milkweed needed for monarch caterpillars to grow and develop, due to habitat conversion and adverse land management
• Drought conditions in California and other areas in the western U.S., resulting in lower milkweed biomass, and reduced availability of milkweed late in the summer
• Insecticide and herbicide use to control insects and weeds, with unintended consequences for monarchs
• Overwintering habitat loss and degradation in California, due to development within and adjacent to overwintering groves, and decay of overwintering trees as they age
• Habitat loss in overwintering sites in Mexico, due to illegal logging
Excerpts below taken from the Protecting Monarchs brochure.
How Can You Help Monarchs?
Conserve monarchs and help support them along their amazing 3,000 mile journey. Your support will help the Pollinator Partnership plant and conserve monarch habitat.
Give to our Monarch Conservation Program today.
Plant milkweed! Monarch caterpillars need milkweeds to grow and develop. There are over 100 milkweed species that are native to North America, many of which are used by monarchs. To learn which species to plant in your region, and how to plant them, visit the Bring Back the Monarchs Campaign at: www.monarchwatch.org.
Plant butterfly nectar plants! Monarchs need nectar to provide energy as they breed, for their migratory journey, and to build reserves for the long winter. Include butterfly plants in your garden, and avoid using pesticides.
Download the FREE Monarch Plant List in PDF format
Encourage public land managers to create monarch habitat! Roadsides and parks of all sizes offer great opportunities to create habitat for monarchs and other pollinators.
Join citizen-science efforts to track monarch populations! The data collected by hundreds of citizen scientists across the country are used by monarch scientists to decipher monarch population trends, and to learn more about what might be driving their numbers from year to year.
Support monarch conservation efforts. There are a number of monarch conservation efforts underway doing very good work. Please consider donating to support these monarch