Monarch butterflies are of the most recognizable and beloved butterfly in North and Central America.
Millions of monarchs migrate across the United States; spending their summers in Michigan and winters in Mexico. Despite the small size of monarch butterflies and other insects, they play a very large role in human's lives. Insects travel to flowering plants, drinking nectar and transporting pollen.
This results in a pollination service that is responsible for 1/3 of the world's food source.
Due to a loss of habitat, the eastern Monarch population has declined by 90 percent. Other pollinators are experiencing a decline as well. Bees, which pollinate one third of the world's food crops, have declined 50% in recent decades. However, these alarming declines have sparked conservation programs across the nation to take action.
Efforts to protect pollinators and restore habitat have been rewarded with a steady increase in monarch populations over the last few years.
There are many different ways for YOU to help monarchs and other important pollinators in Michigan!
Here are some helpful links from the Michigan DNR:
- Report your monarch sightings through Journey North and Monarch Joint Venture.
- Report your bee sightings through the Bee spotter and Bumble Bee Watch.
- Learn how to help and stay up to date with the latest pollinator information - Michigan State University Extension
- Learn about creating monarch habitat and planting native milkweed - Monarch Joint Venture
- Native milkweed species by region - Monarch Joint Venture
- Six ways to save monarchs - National Wildlife Federation Blog
- Citizen science: opportunities to study monarchs - Monarch Joint Venture
- Make a donation to the Nongame Wildlife Fund
The document below is a guide to pollinator gardening:
Did you know globally there are more than 20,000 species of bees and nearly 3,500 species within the United States? Check out the links below for more about bees!
- Bumble Bee Conservation - Xerces Society
- Reversing Pollinator Decline is Key to Feeding the Future - US Department of Agriculture Blog
- Bumble Bee Watch
- Rusty Patched Bumble Bee: proposed listing as an endangered species - US Fish & Wildlife Service
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