Plant Milkweed to Save Monarchs

Plant Milkweed to Save Monarchs

Planting milkweed will definitely improve the population of monarch butterfly. Henceforth, researchers are asking people to plant some milkweed to aid the survival of the flaming orange butterfly.

University of Guelph researcher Tyler Flockhart thinks place does not matter as planting milkweed anywhere is going to help. "Planting them in gardens, planting along roadsides . . . incorporating them into novel technologies like green roofs would help absolutely", said Flockhart, lead researcher of a new study on declining population of the monarch butterfly.

Milkweed is essential for monarch butterflies' survival as it is only plant on which the insect lays its eggs. Increased usage of pesticides and introduction of genetically modified crops has brought a decline in the plants across the butterfly's US and Canadian breeding grounds.

The research finds this reason to be the major point that has brought a shockingly 90% drop in the population of monarch butterfly over the past 20 years. Flockhart said majorly, the butterfly's disappearance has been blamed on harsh weather conditions and deforestation.

But using the computer-crunching butterfly research variables dating back to 30 years, researchers noticed the decline in the milkweed in the corn-belt region of the U.S. Midwest is majorly responsible for the depleting population of the butterfly.

By this, Flockhart does not mean that it's the only reason as a number of other things are also happening, but decline in milkweed is the primary reason. Flockhart also said monarch butterfly has also always been dealing with a low density plant as milkweed is not found much in agriculture fields. Therefore, planting even a little of it would allow the insect's larvae and caterpillars to feed and grow on.


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