Migratory monarch butterflies


Photography of a monarch butterfly on a milkweed plant by Jennifer Prince

Bee Lara, News Editor

Migratory monarch butterflies- among the most recognized and loved butterflies. You know them, you love them, and you’ve possibly had their designs and patterns painted on your face at fairs. When butterflies are mentioned, I’m sure all of our minds wander to the beauty of the monarch butterflies. Seeing the clouds of the monarchs passing by as they migrated every fall is a view and an experience some have been blessed by.

As of lately, however, the number of migratory monarch butterflies spotted has drastically decreased throughout the years. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the migratory monarch butterfly ‘has entered the IUCN Threatened Species as endangered.’ These beautiful insects are being threatened to become extinct due to climate change, urban development, and pesticides, which are killing off the milkweed plants they need in order to survive.

There are, however, ways for us to help the butterflies and slow the speed at which they are dying off. You can start by planting milkweed in your yard! Milkweed is the only kind of plant that migratory monarch butterflies will eat and lay their eggs on, therefore making it an absolute necessity for their survival and reproduction. Another thing you can do to help is using mosquito repellent and clothes to prevent being bitten by them rather than using mosquito sprays, as this kills insects and bugs that are beneficial to the environment like caterpillars, bees, and butterflies. Lastly, spread the word! Let those around you know about the situation and how they can help.

These butterflies need our help and support; taking action individually may seem like it won’t create all that significant of a change, but if we come together and all take part, the impact will be big on the lives and existence of the migratory monarch butterflies. Let’s get those beautiful clouds of butterflies back!