Monarch butterflies are in trouble.Here’s how you can help | Lifestyle

Jessica Damiano

Close your eyes a little and imagine a butterfly. According to my money, the flapping insects you imagine have black striped reddish-orange feathers bordered by white spots. This is a symbolic attribute of our beloved American monarch butterfly.

Unfortunately, many seeds that fill childhood memories have problems.

The migrating Okaba Madara was added to the Endangered Species Red List last week and was first classified as an Endangered Species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It’s two steps from extinct in the wild.

Scientists have blamed the monarch’s plunge for habitat loss, climate change, and the use of pesticides and herbicides.

What can a home gardener do to help a monarch?

If everyone reading this planted one milkweed plant, the benefits are obvious. Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) Is the only plant eaten by the Monarch Caterpillar and is the place where adult butterflies lay their eggs. Without it, the species simply couldn’t exist.

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“But not all milkweeds are the same,” says Dawn Rodney, Chief Innovation and Growth Officer of the National Wildlife Federation in Reston, Virginia. For example, “Invasive species called tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) are increasingly being seen, and people do not understand that it is more harmful than good.”

Exotic plants are problematic because they have a long flowering period and do not die in temperate regions. It can prevent butterflies from recognizing when they move, and it can spread deadly parasites to next generation of caterpillars.

To choose the right milkweed National Wildlife Federation Native Plant Finder ((( ).

Adult monarchs also need other plants, especially those with nectar.Also to the National Wildlife Federation Monarch Nectar Plant List tool ( ), Developed in collaboration with Monarch Joint Venture and Xerces Society) to find the right plant for your location.

Choose plants that grow naturally in your area as the highest quality food source. Be sure to include bloomers in the second half of the season to fuel the monarch for migration each fall.

It is also important to know the source of the plant you are buying.

“Many producers use different types of chemicals that are harmful to wildlife,” Rodney said of pesticides and herbicides aimed at keeping plants attractive on retail shelves. did. The caterpillars that follow die when the treated plants are taken home and the butterflies lay eggs on them, when they munching on the leaves.

Neonicotinoid pesticides are particularly harmful to this species because they can kill bees and adult butterflies that ingest the toxic pollen and nectar of treated plants, Rodney said.

Since the treated plants are not so labeled, Rodney recommends asking the staff of the Gardening Supplies Center about their pest management practices. Purchasing only from reliable organic sources or growing your own plants from seeds are other good options.

This takes me to pesticide use in my yard. When using chemicals in plants, we accept beneficial insects, including monarchs, as a secondary damage. It also puts birds that eat those poisons at risk.

Even natural and organic pesticides can harm butterflies and other pollen maters. However, if you need to use such products, use insecticidal soaps, gardening oils, or neem oils and apply only after dusk when pollen maters are inactive. Unlike many synthetic chemicals, these products lose their effectiveness when dried, making butterflies safe by the morning.

Finally, consider setting up a butterfly puddling station and go another mile. Create a puddle of mud (or add water to the sand) in a sunny place in the garden and place a flat stone in it. Butterflies sunbathe on stones to raise their body temperature, drink water from puddles, and supply the salt, vitamins, and minerals needed to feed nectar.

Copyright 2022 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Monarch butterflies are in trouble.Here’s how you can help | Lifestyle

Source link Monarch butterflies are in trouble.Here’s how you can help | Lifestyle

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