And great news...
Population numbers are up!!!
|Graph of area covered by the Monarch overwintering population in Mexico|
graph by WWF
The Monarch butterfly is known for its great migration across North America. They overwinter only in certain locations in Mexico and California, and when they fly North to breed, it takes several generations before their great-great-grandchildren fly back south to overwinter in the same spots.
Monarch population numbers have been so low the past couple of years that we were in serious danger of losing this great migration. The Monarch butterfly population plummeted due to several factors: severe winters at their overwintering sites, illegal deforestation of their overwintering sites, and the sharp drop in the amount of their larval food of milkweed along their migration path.
|Monarch migration paths shown by the USDA|
|Monarch caterpillar on milkweed|
|graph from the Center for Biological Diversity|
|graph of overwintering population in hectares|
provided by Monarch Watch
Such good news for the Monarch butterflies of North America!
And now back to planting a little more milkweed...