Monarch Migration in Danger

The Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is the state insect of Alabama, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, Texas, and West Virginia. Although this magnificent insect is not endangered, many populations face an uncertain future due to habitat loss in their wintering grounds in Mexico and California as well as in summer breeding grounds throughout North America.

Monarch life cycle
eggegg
caterpillarcaterpillar
chrysalis
mating
ovipositing

Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on leaves of milkweed plants, therefore preserving these native plants is crucial in protecting the Monarch butterfly. The Wild Ones Monarchs Committee encourages YOU to collect milkweed seeds and plant them.

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is generally the preferred host plant of Monarchs, while Swamp (A. incarnata) and Butterfly (A. tuberosa) weed are preferred nectar plants. See this pdf for selecting milkweed species in your region.

Here is a link to the Spring 2013 Monarch Butterfly Migration Map so you can track the migration back north: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/maps/monarch_spring2013.html

To learn more about the monarch population, read this great article from Monarch Joint Venture:  monarchjointventure.org/news-events/news/2012-13-overwintering-population-report.

Monarch Watch’s blog also has excellent articles on the status of the population and the current migration. http://monarchwatch.org/blog/