Monarch butterflies need your help to avoid starvation during migrations

Monarch butterfly feeds on flower

Photo: Wikicommons

Monarch butterflies may be named for their large size and majestic beauty, but once again their numbers are anything but king-sized – in fact, 2014 may go down as one of the worst years ever for the colorful insects, says a Texas A&M Monarch watcher who is proposing a national effort to help feed Monarchs.

Craig Wilson, a senior research associate in the Center for Mathematics and Science Education and a longtime butterfly enthusiast, says reports coming from Mexico where the Monarchs have their overwintering grounds show their numbers are significantly down yet again — so much so that this year might be one of the lowest yet for the butterfly.

“The conditions have been dry both here and in Mexico in recent years.  It takes four generations of the insects to make it all of the way up to Canada, and because of lack of milkweed along the way, a lot of them just don’t make it.

“But if people want to help, they can pick up some milkweed plants right now at local farmer’s cooperative stores,” he says, “and this would be a small but helpful step to aid in their migration journey and to raise awareness of the plight.”

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