Monarch Butterflies could use our help

Milkweed and the Monarch
Frank Carl Picture Monarch

The beautiful monarch butterfly population is dwindling. People may have created this problem.

Over the last two decades the Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) population has declined 90%.  Migrating between Canada and Mexico, their pollinator role plays a very important part in our ecosystem.

Monarchs are known for their color and are easy to recognize. They are unique and have become a symbol for demonstrating biodiversity in our everyday lives.

Monarch females lay their eggs on milkweed plants. The eggs develop into caterpillars that only eat milkweed. Although butterflies use other flower sources as nectar, Milkweed is exclusively needed for monarch caterpillars so that the monarch population can grow.

However people think milkweed is bad so the amount available is shrinking.

The milkweed doesn’t smell good. When its seed pods mature, wind spreads the seeds and that spreads the milkweed.

This is good for monarchs but not the farmer who needs every inch of land to grow crops or the homeowner who wants a perfect lawn.

That may be why the monarch population has dropped. The milkweed habitat area has also shrunk a great deal.

Milkweed may be removed when people build homes and the community expands with new streets and businesses. Sometimes farmers spray their land to get more space for their crops.

Now some people who understand what is happening to the monarch population are trying to change that.Monarch Facts

These people are called conservationists.

The conservationists are setting aside land and planting milkweed to create more habitat for the monarch. Some people plant a butterfly garden in their yard.

Some conservationists work with government agencies to protect land and educate citizens about the need to help monarchs get the food they need.

Oklahoma is part of the migration route for monarchs. Want to keep the monarchs fluttering through Oklahoma in spring and fall?

It’s easy. Plant milkweed. We, at Lorenz's, are committed to helping bring back the Monarch and are currently working with our state and local conservation districts and the Oklahoma Fish and Wildlife Department.  We offer a few different varieties of Milkweed that are specific to certain locations.  If you have questions concerning the current Monarch situation please give us a call at 800-826-3655.      

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