Help Save Our Monarch Butterflies

Help Save Our Monarch Butterflies

by John Roberts

 

TGO Nature Center, Nature, The Great Outdoors, Titusville, Florida, Education, Plants, Insect, Milkweed, Monarch, Butterfly, Flower, Flowers

Photo Courtesy of Linda Somers

 

John Roberts wrote this article in the Spring of 2015.

As many of you know we are concerned with the plight of the once common Monarch butterfly.  It has declined in population from a high of 1 billion in the 1990’s to 35 million last winter (2013).  This is the lowest number on record.  As a result, the Monarch’s status with the Endangered Species Act is under review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  This beautiful butterfly’s situation is so dire that in February 2015, the U.S. government pledged $3.2 million to help save the Monarch Butterfly.

T.G.O. homeowners, the Beautification group and The Nature Center have planted numerous native milkweed plants, one of which is the butterfly weed, a host plant, in our backyards and at Lake Judy.

We had planned to take it a step further this Spring by having a Monarch Butterfly Release Day here at T.G.O. but after talking to several experts, including Jaret Daniels, Asst. Curator of the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera, in Gainesville, Florida, the survival rate may not be good.  So we are asking our homeowners to continue improving the Monarch’s habitat by planting the following plants recommended by the butterfly center:

  • Florida-grown Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) – red/orange flower for dry areas.
  • Florida-grown Aquatic Milkweed (Asclepias perennis) – white flower for damp areas.
  • Florida-grown Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) – pink flower for damp areas.

Lowes, Titusville, has a list of these and we hope they will eventually be able to supply mature plants to those of us interested in providing habitat for the Monarchs.

Asclepias tuberosa seeds may be purchased at Florida Wildflower Growers Cooperative for $4.00 a packet.  Telephone # (352) 988-8117 – ask for Curtis.

We have a number of Butterfly Weed plants established in the Lake Judy wetlands on the east and west sides.  When going to pick up your mail or to the CSA office, you may wish to stop by these Lake Judy areas and perhaps see some delightful Monarchs or their larvae enjoying these plants. Your Nature Center and Beautification Committee.    John Roberts

 Thank you, Linda Somers, for the beautiful Monarch and milkweed photograph.

 

TGO Nature Center, Nature, The Great Outdoors, Titusville, Florida, Education, Plants, Insect, Milkweed, Monarch, Butterfly, Flower, Flowers

Photo Courtesy of Linda Somers

 

To see more photos of Monarch Butterflies, click on this Monarch Butterflies Photo Album link.

To learn more about the Monarch Butterflies, click on this Monarch Butterflies link.

To see more photographs of milkweed, click on this Milkweed Photo Album link.

 

TGO Nature Center – “Living in Harmony with Nature

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