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Agricultural News

Support Monarch Butterflies this Spring by Planting Habitat

Thu, 30 Apr 2020 12:45:12 CDT

Support Monarch Butterflies this Spring by Planting Habitat The loss of milkweed and other nectar plants along the monarch migration route reduces the resilience of the monarch population to predators, parasites, pathogens, and weather events. Environmental stressors and habitat loss have caused recorded declines in monarch numbers since the 1990s.

In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received a petition to place the monarch under the Endangered Species Act. Once a species is listed, regulatory actions are taken to prevent further harm to it or its habitat. In the case of the monarch, a listing decision may impact land management decisions throughout its migration path.

Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director, KC Sheperd, spoke with Aimee Hood, the regulatory and scientific engagement management lead at Bayer. She said if producers want to help with the monarchs, the easiest solution is to plant habitat for the monarch butterflies, "They love milkweed, but they also love any flowering plants because they rely on nectar as a sugar source, so if we can plant more of these plants, that makes the monarchs happy."

She says you don't have to have a ton of acres; you can plant habitat in your flower beds, backyards, and pretty much anywhere to attract the butterflies.

To support monarch health, landowners and farmers are encouraged to plant monarch habitat and record their efforts in the HabiTally app, a free mobile app developed by Bayer and The Climate Corporation, and donated to Iowa State University (ISU). Hood said, "Anyone can download this app and then pin where you are and record what you have on your land."

Hood also encourages any producers that are interested in planting habitat for butterflies or just learning more about the butterflies to go to farmersformonarchs.org. There you can connect to resources available in your state and find more ways to help.

The USFWS is completing data collection at the end of May, so we encourage everyone who wants their monarch habitats to count towards this historic decision to record their efforts in HabiTally by May 31.

Click or tap below to hear the complete interview with Aimee Hood and KC Sheperd



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