ORANGE PARK – The Monarch butterfly is among the most recognized, studied and loved of all North America’s insects. The annual migration/life cycle of the Monarch butterfly is dependent upon conservation of habitat in all three North American countries: United States, Canada and Mexico.
Monarchs are disappearing as are milkweeds, their host plants. Milkweed is the only plant the Monarch butterfly lays its eggs on and the caterpillar eats. The Monarchs have suffered a population decline upward of 90% in recent decades. The blame for this loss has been the displacement of the milkweed by genetically modified crops and urban sprawl.
The Garden Club of Orange Park is encouraging everyone to join in this conservation effort by planting native milkweeds in your flower gardens. Monarch butterflies are pollinators and need flowers for nectar. Grow the milkweed, count the caterpillars on the milkweed, and submit your data to Monarch Watch at http://www.MonarchWatch.org.
National Pollinator Week is June 22-28. The theme this year is: “Our future flies with pollinators”. You can visit these websites to learn more about pollinators --http://www.pollinator.org/pollinator-week; http://fws.gov/pollinators/; and http://www.nwf.org.