Monarch Butterfly Numbers Are In...


JBtheExplorer

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This past summer, I saw more Monarch butterflies in my gardens than ever before. In late August, as migration was beginning, I had about 30 at once! I was hopeful that it would mean good things for the annual overwintering count, but anything could happen between then and now. Luckily, numbers look great this year!

"This winter, researchers found the butterflies occupying 14.95 acres (6.05 hectares) of pine and fir forests in the mountains of Michoacan and Mexico states – an increase from 6.12 acres a year ago."

That's an increase of 144%! That's also the highest number reported in 12 years. That's good news, but we've got a long way to go before we can ensure a stable population.

We need more large-scale habitat restorations. That's tough for any one of us to make happen, but we also need more home-owners to plant native gardens filled with nectar and host species, and that's something anyone can do!

The best plants? Milkweed species. They double as host and nectar plants.

For nectar, plant Purple Coneflowers, Joe Pye Weed, Stiff Goldenrod, and many, many more.

Meadow Blazing Star is another great nectar source. Monarchs are addicted to it's nectar, and it's considered the number one monarch magnet!

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very good....I have seen more last summer than ever in Eastern Pa and plants special things for them for years...I was very pleased with last summer.
 

alp

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I have never seen a Monarch in the wild even though I had milkweed here. Not fair!

Anything purple is a blessing for butterflies and especially bees.
 
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I consistently see more monarchs than any other species of butterfly, by far. I will continue planting milkweeds, but I'm focusing on other host plants for all the other species starting last year and amazingly I did see a great increase in the other species, but still less than monarchs. Hopefully this year the numbers will be increased for the others.

BTW, this is just a curious observation I've noticed. Monarch butterflies seem to be far more aggressive and territorial than the other species. I always see them chasing one another away from their nectar sources and if there's not another monarch for one to chase, they will always chase another species of butterfly, even the larger swallowtail butterflies.

Just a curious observation...:geek:
 
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Oh thank goodness, when I saw the title of this topic I was expecting the worst! Glad to hear numbers are picking up, let's hope it's a trend :)
 

JBtheExplorer

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I consistently see more monarchs than any other species of butterfly, by far.
That's why it's become so important to save them. If we let such a common butterfly disappear, there's no hope for the rest. The monarch is a symbol of something much bigger. It isn't solely about saving the monarchs, it's all about giving back habitat to all species. The things that monarchs need are the same things that thousands of species need.


I always see them chasing one another away from their nectar sources and if there's not another monarch for one to chase, they will always chase another species of butterfly, even the larger swallowtail butterflies.
I've never noticed that, but I did see one go after a hummingbird that was bothering it once. Both ended up flying away.
 
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MaryMary

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That's an increase of 144%! That's also the highest number reported in 12 years.

Yay!! Happy dance!!
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I have never seen a Monarch in the wild even though I had milkweed here. Not fair!

I hope you didn't plant the milkweed for the purpose of attracting Monarchs! They are the one of the hummingbirds of butterflies. ;) (Native to the Americas.)
 
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JBtheExplorer

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I hope you didn't plant the milkweed for the purpose of attracting Monarchs! They are the one of the hummingbirds of butterflies. ;) (Native to the Americas.)

Although there are many close relatives around the world.
 
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alp

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I saw tons of Asclepias Tuberosa flowering outside the giant conservatory in the RHS flagship Wisley and was very taken with them. After that, I grew them and bought one and they have been able to withstand below freezing temperature. Very pleased with them. Like their seeds and their silky threads ... very pretty and the threads feel like silk!
 
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Maybe, just maybe, this aggressive behavior I see in my monarchs are just a thing among the native monarchs of Florida...just wondering...
 
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