Mexican officials calculated an increase in the monarch butterfly population early this year but overall, the population has declined by 90% since the 1990s. What are the greatest threats to monarchs' and their migratory journey? What does the drop say about the health and stability of our ecosystem?
Monarchs are unique because of their long migration -- one of their first stops being South Texas -- and important to the health of our planet. They are pollinators and a natural form of pest control. They are also an important source of food for many small animals, birds and other insects.
In 2018, the National Wildlife Federation distinguished San Antonio as a "Monarch Butterfly Champion City." What does the title mean and what's being done to support monarchs in our area? What requirements still need to be met to complete the Mayor’s Monarch pledge?
Are there specific plants individuals can plant in their gardens to protect and promote the monarch life cycle? What is pollinator friendly landscaping? What role do monarch butterflies play in our food chain?
The 2019 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival is October 12-20 in San Antonio. Click here for more information and a full schedule of events.
- Monika Maeckle, founder and director of the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival; runs the Texas Butterfly Ranch website
- Julia Murphy, deputy chief sustainability officer for the City of San Antonio's Office of Sustainability
- Rebeca Quiñonez-Piñón, forest ecologist and monarch outreach coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation
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*This interview was recorded on Thursday, October 10 .