The monarch butterfly is among one of the most beautiful, majestic, and peaceful creatures on Earth. Each spring millions of these butterflies migrate from central Mexico back to the United States and Canada to lay eggs for the next generation of monarch butterflies.

It's truly amazing to think something this beautiful is created in just a few weeks. Once the egg is laid on the underside of a milkweed plant, the eggs hatch in about 4 days and the baby caterpillar lives on the plant for a couple of weeks. It's after that the true transformation takes place when the caterpillar goes through metamorphosis and turns into the monarch butterfly. (City of Irving)

Unfortunately, their numbers are dwindling quickly and they could soon become an endangered species. The World Wildlife Federation says their population could decrease by as much as 59% this year. The eastern monarch butterfly colonies in central Mexico are not thriving as they once were raising concern for the species.

Factors affecting monarch decline:

  • decline of natural milkweed
  • habitat destruction
  • pesticide exposure
  • extreme weather
  • urban sprawl
  • traffic

We can all help the monarch population rebound

Ways to help the monarch butterflies thrive:

  • plant milkweed that is native to the area
  • nectar rich flowers and plants
  • reduced carbon emissions
  • reduce the amount of pesticides being used on vegetation

Monarch butterfly conservation groups

Several conservation groups are doing studies on the monarch butterfly and people from Mexico, the United States, and Canada are helping to provide information about the migratory pattern, concentration of butterfly clusters, and more.

One such group is Monarch Butterfly Watch. They are currently looking for monarch butterfly enthusiasts to help gather information and observe them as they begin to migrate north. You can be a part of the project by downloading the Monarch Watch App.

Butterflies are like any other pollinators. They spread pollen yo help other plants and flowers thrive and produce food for humans. Through conservation and awareness, we can help this beautiful creature continue to thrive and hopefully rebound from their falling numbers.

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