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IN THE WAKE OF THEIR SHOCKING POPULATION PLUNGE, Monarchs are now drifting back into the Midwest and Northeast. Here’s one I encountered in northern Wisconsin on Tuesday during a break from chasing dragonflies. She’s nectaring on hawkweed. Hope on four wings.
A perfect storm of threats now bears down on America’s favorite insect. New research published in the Journal of Animal Ecology confirms what we know: it’s milkweed, stupid. No milkweed, no Monarchs. And the march of industrial agriculture is killing off milkweed, particularly here in the Midwest.
But Monarchs don’t decline by vanishing host plants alone. Degradation of wintering sites in Mexico, drought in the southern US, and global warming have joined a conspiracy against this insect. Here’s the bad news from last winter.
You’re part of the solution. So plant milkweed, lots of it. Learn more (and find all your Monarch conservation needs) at Monarch Watch. Here’s the Monarch page from the Xerces Society. I’m a Xerces member; please consider joining this vital invertebrate conservation group.