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Of the 17,500 species of butterfly in the world, the Monarch
butterfly is one of the most recognizable. They are interesting
creatures because monarchs migrate from Canada and the United States to
Mexico for the winter and back again in the spring.
Winter is too cold. A lot of us have said the same but when the
temperatures drop to 32°F, they can die. At those temperatures their
food sources die out so they head south.
are light-sensitive and follow the sun. They also have an internal
magnetic compass, located in their antennae, tuned in to the Earth’s
magnetic fields to keep them on track.
Loss of habitat and climate change has resulted in a 90% decline in Monarch
populations since the 1990s. The monarch is currently a candidate for
listing under the Endangered Species
Act (ESA), and its status will be reviewed each year until it is no
longer a candidate. In December 2020, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service determined that "adding the monarch butterfly to the list of threatened and
endangered species is warranted but precluded by work on higher-priority listing actions."
Monarchs lay their eggs on
milkweed and developing caterpillars feed on it. Without
milkweed, Monarchs can't reproduce. Plant milkweed and monarch nectar
plants. Don’t use pesticides. And support efforts to combat climate
Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), swamp milkweed (A. incarnata), and butterflyweed (A. tuberosa) are native in many regions, including Minnesota. Use the National Wildlife Federation Native Plant Finder to search by zip code for native milkweed species.
Common Milkweed. Photo Credit: Anita Gould, Flickr Creative Commons
Swamp Milkweed. Photo Credit: Tom Potterfield, Flickr Creative Commons
Butterflyweed. Photo Credit: Beautifulcataya, Flickr Creative Commons
Xerces Society Monarch Nectar Plants: Great Lakes Region (PDF) This guide features Great Lakes native plants
that have documented monarch visitation, bloom during the times of year
when monarchs are present, are commercially available, and are known to
be hardy. Beyond supporting monarchs, many of these plants attract
other nectar- and/or pollen-seeking butterflies, bees, moths and birds.
The Monarch Act of 2021 - The Monarch Action, Recovery, and Conservation of Habitat Act, or
Monarch Act of 2021 introduced in the Senate by Senator Jeff Merkley of
Oregon and in the House of Representatives by Representatives Jimmy
Panetta and Salud Carbajal of California will provide funding for
conservation activities to restore, enhance, and manage overwintering
and breeding habitats of monarch populations in the western U.S.
Do you think you might be interested in a modern landscape design for your yard? What is a modern landscape?
Sweater weather is just around the corner and with it hints of red, orange, and yellow peeking through fading green canopies. Here’s a list of some of the best annuals and perennials to brighten your fall landscape.
Examples of the different types of outdoor lighting: path lights, uplights, downlights, and wash lights.