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Arts & Culture

What Can You Do To Help The Monarch Butterfly Survive?

In the spring and fall the Monarch Butterflies pass through South Texas. You may have noticed in recent years a marked reduction.

“Unfortunately the Monarch Butterfly is in severe decline.”

Ben Eldredge is Boerne’s Cibolo Nature Center Education Director.

“Since 1997 there’s been about a 90% reduction in Monarch population. It used to be assumed that the reason for that was that the habitat was being destroyed in Mexico.”

The Mexican government cracked down on Michoacan logging, so the  reason on that end has been diminshed. Michoacan is where the Monarchs head to winter over every autumn.  

“We now realize that the biggest threat to the Monarch Butterfly is the conventional agricultural practices that are being used up in the corn belt.” 

In spring the Monarchs leave Mexico, flying over Texas on the way to their summer homes in the northern US and into Canada. While South Texans can’t ensure that practices at either end of their migration are perfect, they can do more to help the Monarch migration succeed.

“The Cibolo Nature Center provides two workshops a year in which we cover the Monarch biology, ecology, threats to the Monarch and citizen science. We also talk about how to create more Monarch habitat here in Texas, and the preferred milkweed species to plant.  It is the most comprehensive workshop on Monarchs in Texas. We have some amazing presenters. We have Kip Kiphart and Cathy Downs, who are arguably the most knowledgeable in the state of Texas.”

The 9AM to 3PM workshop is on Saturday, May 2nd at the Cibolo’s Herff Farm. It’s technically a free workshop, but they’re hoping you’ll donate. 

“We don’t want to turn anybody away because they can’t afford it. If you have a passion and want to do something for Monarchs we want you to come to this workshop.“

He’s cites another reason for his interests.

“It’s really important for me because I’ve got a two year-old and I want her to know what a Monarch Butterfly looks like.”

We’ve more on the workshop here.

More on a good Milkweed variety to plant is here