Monarch Butterflies and this Relay of Life
Ok friends, so the relay of life is on. Monarchs departed Mexico with the last ones leaving the sanctuaries on March 17th. They headed over mountains and desert to reach what needed to be rich meadows and fields in Texas and the gulf states to lay their eggs and pass the baton to the next generation.
Well, they flew and did the best they could. That generation has now passed on and their young, generation 1 of 2013, now carries the hope for the future.
I’ve been watching the reports from Texas and they have all be along the same lines as that from Kip Kiphart below, which he sent out on April 29th.
Very few remigrants this year.
Fewest I’ve seen.
When they arrived in the area, the weather was cool to cold, not really to their liking. (Three bears)
Not a great abundance of milkweed then but certainly infinitely more milkweed than monarchs.
Not a lot of nectar sources. Abundant wildflowers now.
I saw a sum total of 3 adults, one was a male for sure and the other 2 were probably males. from their flight pattern……………..not looking for milkweed.
At Cibolo Nature Center, we’ve seen very few eggs and ZERO caterpillars except for a queen.
This is the 12th year we have been doing MLMP@CNC, and it is by far the worst year we have had.
I’ve had 1 egg and 1 cat in my milkweed patch.
I’ve checked 100 – 200 milkweeds on walks with my dog, ZERO caterpillars.
A person who took our MLMP training last fall at CNC, is monitoring 2 milkweed patches in Pipecreek and has reported some eggs and a few caterpillars.
In a word, the spring migration was DISMAL and Gen1 production SCANT.
So what does this mean for us? Well…..where’s my glass that’s half full? Ah, here it is….for those of you who have come to the programs that we’ve done lately, you’ve heard about Lola, an injured butterfly from last fall who we saw lay over 300 eggs..which we then raised to adults and launched to Mexico last fall.
The bottom line is: If given the habitat (milkweed plants to lay eggs on and eat as caterpillars and nectar plants to drink from as adults) then the Monarchs will do their part to bring back the population.
What we’re missing is habitat (ok, and yea, the number of Monarchs is frighteningly low right now too) so let’s rebuild it!
Let’s plant the milkweed and the nectar plants: Let’s welcome this first generation of 2013 with a feast fit for kings (indeed, for Monarchs!). Let’s help them on their journey north and in bringing generations 2, 3 and 4 into this world!
Let’s restore the habitat — it will help not only Monarchs but also other pollinators, birds, mammals and more!
We have all the resources you need on our website and are happy to help answer questions: Click here for information about our Monarch Campaign.
Milkweed and nectar plants for your Monarch Waystation. Download this pdf for a simple plant list and list of the nurseries.
Once you have your garden in, make it official! Certify it with Monarch Watch, tell us about it via our Contact Us page, and put up a Monarch Waystation sign to let others know about the great work you’ve done!