- MISSION: MONARCHS!MONARCHS"/>
- MISSION: MONARCHS!MILKWEED"/>
- MISSION: MONARCHS!GARDENING"/>
- MISSION: MONARCHS!GALLERY"/>
Our mission: Help the Monarch recover from a devastating decline in population numbers!
In recent years, this iconic species has suffered terrible losses. Some are related to severe storms, others to habitat loss. The disappearance of native milkweeds due to herbicide use has also been cited as a contributing factor to our current situation, which jeopardizes the spectacular transcontinental migration of the Monarch.
Each year, Monarchs migrate south in the winter and north in the spring. In some cases, multiple generations make this treacherous trip; other times, a single Monarch may live 8 - 9 months and complete a 1,500 mile journey on its own.
Along their migratory route, Monarchs must find food. They need flowering plants that provide nectar, which supplies energy to fly and reproduce, and they need host plants to feed their offspring. A variety of plants produce suitable nectar for Monarchs, but only one species of plant will sustain their young: milkweed.
There are more than 100 species of milkweed in the United States, but many are now hard to find. Without milkweed, Monarchs will not lay eggs because their babies are very picky eaters. There is a term for the intimate connection between milkweed and young Monarchs: obligate feeders. When Monarch eggs hatch, their larvae can only eat one food if they want to grow into caterpillars, then become butterflies; they are obligated to eat milkweed in order to survive.
We are happy you’ve chosen to learn more about Monarchs & Milkweed and we hope you will be motivated to adopt our mission as your own!