The monarch butterfly population has declined significantly in the last few decades due to the loss of America's grasslands ecosystems, commercial agricultural practices, and conventional gardening. One of the major reasons for the decline is the shortage of milkweed plants, which is its only caterpillar host plant.
The Midwestern states, also known as the Corn Belt to the U.S., are a prime breeding ground for monarch butterflies during their migration to Mexico. The milkweed plant that grows in this area serves as the only source of food for the caterpillar during the monarch life cycle.
Dita Rudinow is doing her part to help make a difference for the monarch butterfly, and it's something we can all do. A recent relocation brought Rudinow to the Seattle area, where she works long hours in advanced technical support for a large telecommunications company.
The majestic monarch butterfly is easy to spot with its orange, black, and white markings. Every fall, northern monarchs make an incredible journey to warmer weather in Southern California and Central Mexico. This 3,000-mile migration is a sight to behold.
Some people believe that chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers are the answer to dealing with insects and weeds in their gardens. Some farmers and home gardeners apply them to crops for a better yield, not really understanding the long-term effects on consumption.
The annual migration of the monarch butterfly is an amazing phenomenon. As the weather gets colder, swarms of monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico where it is warm all year, but there is now a new threat to their winter habitat.
Maxcine Fischer (86), from Kinde, Michigan was one of the first on board to help with the preservation project. She, along with her family have made picking milkweed pods a family affair.
The milkweed plant is a fragrant flower that blooms in the summer and hosts the magnificent Monarch butterfly. The magical flowers come in various shades and cluster on top of the plant’s strong stem.
Perhaps no other butterfly is quite as iconic as the monarch, his characteristic orange and black markings brilliant against a summer-blue sky. However, this beautiful sight is sadly in danger of disappearing, as Monarch Butterflies are decreasing at an alarming rate.
Chances are you’ve seen monarch butterflies fluttering around in your garden or in a nearby public park. You probably didn’t think much about the bold orange and black insects because they’re fairly common in the United States.