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
- In the Field Trip Report to Grand Teton National ParkNovember 24, 2023 This past fall, I made my first photography trip to Wyoming and the Grand Teton National Park. In this trip report, I will share some of my experiences and images of four great days spent chasing wildlife and seeing the most beautiful mountainscapes, even if it was cloudy, of the Grand Teton… Read more: In the Field Trip Report to Grand Teton National Park
- Article Published on Journal on The Think Tank Photo Website11/09/2023 My article called Journey of A Life Long Dream Realized was published on the Journal on Think Tank Photo’s website. Since I was a child I always wanted to visit Yellowstone National Park, and for over 20 plus years, I have dreamed of photographing at the Tetons. For the last few years I have… Read more: Article Published on Journal on The Think Tank Photo Website
- In the Field Trip Report on Yellowstone National ParkNovember 05, 2023 Since I was a kid, I always wanted to go and visit Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. As I became a wildlife and nature photographer, this desire to go to Yellowstone grew. I have always wanted to capture images of the big mammals like the bison, elk, bear and moose. So, when… Read more: In the Field Trip Report on Yellowstone National Park
- 2024 Calendars Available for Purchase at My Zazzle StorefrontOctober 19, 2024 I have updated my Zazzle Storefront with a folder of 2024 wall calendars that are now available for purchase through Zazzle.com. There are a total of 18 calendars. Subjects of the calendars include butterflies, monarch butterflies, red foxes, brown pelicans, great blue heron courting displays, egrets, flowers and bullfrogs. They are available… Read more: 2024 Calendars Available for Purchase at My Zazzle Storefront
- Black Swallowtail Butterfly: Caterpillar to Newly Emerged ButterflyThe Eastern black swallowtail caterpillars undergo a very noticeable change in their appearance from the 1st and 2nd Instars to the 4th and 5th Instars. After the 5th instar caterpillar stage, a chrysalis is formed before the eclosed butterfly emerges.
American Bullfrog American Bullfrog Sitting on Pine Needles backyard butterfly garden bird photography birds birds of prey black swallowtail caterpillars bullfrogs butterflies Butterfly conservation photography caterpillars conservation flowers Frogs insects in the field Lori A Cash monarch butterflies monarch butterfly monarch conservation NANPA nature nature photography Norfolk Botanical Garden osprey photo exhibit photography pollinators publication published red foxes red fox kit sunrise tips Virginia Virginia Conservation Network Virginia wildlife Virginia wildlife conservation whooping cranes wild horses wildlife wildlife conservation Wildlife Corridors wildlife photography Zazzle