Ensuring the Monarch Butterfly’s Survival

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

This is Passport to Texas

The Monarch butterfly population is in decline.

06- The current thought is that it’s actually several different factors that are contributing to the decline that we’re seeing.

Ben Hutchins is an invertebrate biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

16- Historically, one of the big issues was deforestation in the forests in a couple of states in Mexico where the monarchs overwinter. We’ve also had really cold weather at those overwintering sites, and also some prolonged [drought and] hot weather up here in the United States.

Butterfly habitat is inadequate along their migration routes. Milkweed plants are the monarch’s preferred nectar and host plants. Citizens who grow milkweed in
their landscapes can help support monarch migration.

17- Those [milkweed] can be used by monarchs. But, we’re really starting to try to push that people are really conscious about which species of milkweed they’re planting. We’re advocating to look at what’s native to your area and plant regional appropriate milkweeds.

Hutchins says we need to plant more than milkweeds; a diversity of plant species will attract more monarchs and other pollinators, and provide them with the food and shelter they need for their long journey.

Find more monarch information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

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