July 14, 2021
The monarch butterfly has been in decline these past two decades, and we need to protect the this species. This decline is due to habitat loss, climate change and due to the use of pesticides. The monarch butterfly is also known as the milkweed butterfly. As part of the monarch’s habitat loss is the loss of the milkweed in agriculture fields due to the use of pesticides. This loss of milkweed is a major reason why the this butterfly is in decline. We must find ways to protect the monarch butterfly.
Facts About the Monarch Butterfly
It is one of the most common and most recognizable butterflies in North America. Its wing markings include black, orange, and white patterns which makes it easily recognizable. Their wing span is about 3-4 inches. These large popular butterflies are a long-distance migrators and often find their way to Mexico during the winter.
The male and female monarchs look very similar to each other. They are only differentiated by the male monarch having thinner black veins and two small black spots on the lower back wings. In addition, the monarch butterfly is hard to distinguish from the similar color and markings of the viceroy butterfly. The difference between these two insect species is that the monarch is significantly larger and does not have the black line across the bottom of the hind wings as the viceroy does.
Threats to the Monarch Butterfly
A special concern for the decline in this butterfly is due to the many changes in our climate. In the monarch’s overwintering habitats, the increasing amounts of severe weather such as droughts, wildfires and severe storms have impacted the monarch butterflies ability to survive.
In addition, deforestation is a threat to the survival of the monarch. The continued amount of logging and even the falling down of trees have diminished the monarch butterfly’s ability to migrate, therefore, affecting their ability to mate and to increase their population.
Ways to Protect the Monarch Butterfly
One of the best ways to protect the this particular butterfly species is to plant native milkweed in gardens and yards. This will help replace the loss of milkweed in agriculture fields. Monarch caterpillars will only eat milkweed so this is a very important way to protect this species and to help stop their decline. Milkweed may take a couple of seasons before producing flowers for the monarchs. Providing habitat for these butterflies and caterpillars is essential in saving the monarchs.
Another way to help protect the monarchs is to plant pollinator gardens in your backyard, neighborhood, school or church. Monarchs need the nectar from flowers to stay healthy and to survive. This will not only help the monarch but all pollinators as well.
Lastly, gardening organically without the use of pesticides is a very important way to protect these butterflies.
As concerned citizens, nature lovers and lovers of our world, we all need to take action to help protect the monarch butterfly. This decline in the monarchs indicates that our climate is in trouble as well. We need to work together to save the these pollinators which will also impact our climate. Monarch butterflies are extremely important to the health of our environment. The monarchs are a very important pollinator as they feed on the nectar and pollinate many different wildflowers in our environment.
Thank you for reading my Field Notes blog, and I hope you will share this post with others.
Let’s protect our wildlife and nature!
All the very best,
Copyright © 2021 Lori A Cash
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