Every year, monarch butterflies migrate more than 2,000 miles to overwinter in warmer climates in Mexico and Southern California. Sadly, these majestic creatures are plummeting toward extinction due to habit threats and global climate change. Finding out how and why monarch butterflies travel might be one way to help their decline in population.
Veggie gardens are a source of nutrition and enjoyment, but when it comes to maitnenance and weeding, it can be real work. Many vegetables and herbs are also host plants for caterpillars and bring in the pollinators, which increases the harvest.
Some butterfly species can overwinter as larvae, pupae, or adults; however, the monarch butterfly cannot survive the cold winters of northern climates. As the temperature begins to change, monarchs sense when it is time to begin traveling south to a warmer climate.
Privet was brought to the United States from China to be used as an ornamental shrub on public and private land, roadsides, and forested urban areas. Now, multiplying without bounds, privet competes with local plants for light, nutrients, and water. Researchers believe that privet is now disrupting the native bee populations and other pollinators.
Every fall when the weather starts to get colder, the beautiful monarch butterflies make their migration south. Many of these painted creatures travel to Mexico and the Gulf coast to overwinter and lay eggs for next year's migration. Some monarchs will travel to California to the few sanctuaries that remain.
The flowers and plants in your garden not only look pretty, they have an important job. As the habitat to many creatures, your garden provides the essential nutrients for survival and reproduction.
With all the stress of testing and standards-driven education, it's time to take the children outdoors for more authentic learning experiences. By challenging, engaging, and getting the kids thinking about their natural surroundings, they will love learning new things.
Every year, the majestic monarch butterflies make their migration to Mexico for winter. These orange and black painted creatures travel over 2,500 miles to hibernate in warmer climates, before returning to the United States. Their numbers, however, are shrinking. In addition to deforestation, herbicide use is significantly impacting the species' survival.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service and The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have collaborated under Working Lands for Wildlife to accelerate conservation on behalf of the monarch butterfly. For the past two decades, populations of the monarchs have declined significantly across North America due to the eradication of the milkweed plant, the only plant on which the monarch caterpillars feed.
Learning where monarchs migrate within North American may help save the species. Researchers are now looking at where overwintering monarch butterflies originate over multiple years.
The 2017 count has been released, and the monarch population is down by 27% in Mexico this year. This is devastating news, but unfortunately not a shock, because there has been a downward trend over the past decade and the late winter storm last February took a toll on the population.
Monarchs undergo a complete metamorphosis, or change, as they grow. The four distinct stages include the egg, larva, pupa, and adult.