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Naturalists Say More Milkweed is Needed to Sustain Monarch Populations

Captain-tucker, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

There are two main Butterfly emergence periods throughout the year, June and September. While the butterfly population will appear plentiful during this time, there is one species you won’t see as frequently as you would have ten years ago, the Monarch.

Woodland Nature Station Naturalist John Pollpeter says you tend to see Swallowtails and Monarchs in June.

“You also start seeing some things like Hair Streaks and Cloudless Sulphurs, some real pretty butterflies and some really showy butterflies during the second emergence, which is coming in September”  Pollpeter said.

But for the last ten years, Pollpeter said there has been a dramatic decline in the Monarch population.  Roundup and GMO crops are believed to be the cause, though it hasn’t been proven. In the meantime naturalists at LBL are encouraging people to make their yards more wildlife friendly.

“Milkweed is a larva host and a caterpillar host and the more milkweeds you have on your property the more Monarchs you are going to have and that can definitely get around to helping that species survive.” Pollpeter said.

This particular Monarch species travels all the way from Mexico, and is seriously endangered. 



Nicole Erwin is a Murray native and started working at WKMS during her time at Murray State University as a Psychology undergraduate student. Nicole left her job as a PTL dispatcher to join the newsroom after she was hired by former News Director Bryan Bartlett. Since, Nicole has completed a Masters in Sustainable Development from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia where she lived for 2 1/2 years.
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