I have had many friends and fellow Butterfly enthusiasts asking "where are the Monarchs? I haven't seen any!" This is why its so important to spread the word about ways to save this butterfly!
The simple answer is that the population has been so severely decreased in the past few years its not your imagination...there are not as many butterflies as there were 10, 15 years ago! Some factors are out of our control. Storms, and overforesting in over winter sites in Mexico have depleted the only know habitat for the Monarchs during cold northern months. So obviously the fewer Monarchs that make it through the winter the fewer there are to come back in the spring, which also means that there are fewer Monarchs to rebuild the population in the few short months they spend here in Minnesota. But don't give up my Monarch friends!! I have seen 2 monarchs this week in my Milkweeds. I have last weeks chrysalis that will hatch next week, AND I found my first egg on Wednesday. So keep watching for them!! As this new generation hatches, and reproduces you WILL see more butterflies in the coming weeks! I continued to find caterpillars until beginning of October last year. Those late season butterflies (August, Sept) are the ones that will migrate back to Mexico, so they need to survive! Spread the word! Encourage friends, neighbors, city officials, strangers you meet on the street to plant and protect milkweeds. Watch for caterpillars and try to ensure their survival. Avoid using pesticides as much as possible. If you want to learn more about raising caterpillars theres lots of information online. U of Mn Monarch Lab, Monarchwatch.org, and journey north are all credible websites with much useful information about protecting our pollinators.
Stay vigilant friends and Save the Monarchs!!!!