What would you do if all your fruits, your vegetables, and flowers all disappeared? The Birds and the Bees aren’t the only pollinators out there, butterflies are big on the list too. Unfortunately, butterflies, specifically Monarch butterflies, are facing an uphill climb. Our own Debbie Lazaga takes a closer look.
They are the most recognizable butterfly in the world, it’s the Monarch Butterfly or Danaus plexippus. But, don’t let the delicate looking wings fool you. They’re hardier than they look. As a matter of fact, the members of the population that develop and come out later in the summer are the migrators and they fly from points as far north as Canada all the way into winter nesting grounds in central Mexico.
As strong and resilient to make this flight as they are, Monarchs are facing a dangerous situation.
There is a group of people helping to raise these beautiful creatures as a hobby and to learn more about them. This season’s number of Monarchs is noticeably reduced. The Butterfly Lady of Mishicot, Ann Shebesta says one hypothesis is the warmer weather early in the season may have had an effect, essentially pushing the migrating population further to the north.
Founder and Director of Friends of the Monarch Trail agrees and adds that reduction of habitat also may be having an impact. She suggests planting more milkweed and nectaring plants as well as getting involved in local government to help guide development and maintenance. Mowing of milkweed patches has a major effect on Monarch numbers as that is the only type of plant on which they lay their eggs.
AND… if you’re curious… you’re in luck! Friends of the Monarch Trail are having an event called the Migration Celebration!
From 4 to 7 Saturday afternoon, anyone curious can stop by at the county grounds, right off Discovery Parkway, near Watertown Plank rd.
There will be talks, displays, crafts, music and walking tours of the beautiful Monarch Trail.
For anyone interested in starting to raise and care for Monarch Butterflies, I highly recommend stopping by and asking as many questions as possible. It’s fascinating and you just might save our pollinators.