The population of Monarch butterflies has dropped 59% this year. This is the lowest population ever recorded. Scientists attribute the drop to the destruction of breeding habitat in the U.S., due to commercial farming practices involving herbicides and genetically engineered crops.
What does this mean to you? Everything! If these native pollinators are dropping in record numbers, so are other pollinators. But there is something you can do about it. Make a small rest stop (or waystation) for the butterflies to help increase their numbers. This is a quite simple thing to do.
To create a habitat for monarchs, you need to provide milkweeds for the larvae, nectar plants for the adults, and sufficient vegetation to provide shelter for the larvae, pupae and adults. This all comes in a small kit for $16 here at Monarch Watch Stop.
How to Build a Monarch Waystation and lot’s of other useful links:
You can also purchase Milkweed seeds here for $3 a pack at Butterfly Encounters
Milkweed Growing Instructions: Live Monarch
From Here and Now on NPR a great radio piece with audio – Majestic Monarch Butterflies Under Threat
IMAX 3D Movie: Flight of the Butterflies
Teachers: Monarchs in the Classroom
I’ll be building a Monarch Garden this spring and I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going.
Let’s help our little orange and black friends….before it’s too late. If you’ve created a garden already, please pot in comments and offer some advice to others. Spring’s almost here and I can’t wait! Happy planting!