Archive for January 8th, 2015

Monarch Week: Milkweeds for Monarchs

Thursday, January 8th, 2015


Monarch on a milkweed plant.

Monarch on a milkweed plant.

This is Passport to Texas

Texas boasts 38 species of native milkweed, and you may share your observations of the plants with the Texas Milkweeds and Monarchs Citizen Science Project.

07— Whether you’re in the Panhandle, whether you’re in the Trans Pecos – wherever you are in Texas – you can contribute to this project.

Ben Hutchins helps coordinate the program for Texas Parks and Wildlife; he says questions they hope your data will answer include where milkweeds do and don’t grow, and how their decline affects the monarch butterfly’s decline, as it is an important food source for its caterpillars.

38— A couple of other questions that we would like to answer: which plants are monarchs using? Which ones seem to be most important for these monarch species? We know for sure that monarchs use several of our native milkweed species. But there are a few others – particularly the less common ones – that we really don’t know how important those are for monarchs. We also would like to get a handle on how much effort are Texans putting into planting milkweeds? We really want to know where those patches are in people’s yards, or in wildflower centers, or city parks. We’re really curious where about where people are planting milkweeds, and whether those are being used by monarchs.

Tomorrow: how researchers plan to use the those answers to help manage monarchs and milkweeds.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.