M’Finda Kalunga Garden: Monarchs in Droves

 

Beautiful and endangered. Monarch Butterflies.

Several Gardeners are now growing milkweed – crucial to the Monarch’s survival.

Endangered by Climate Change and “Roundup” Herbicide NYTimes:

“Of all the assaults on the monarch population, climate change may prove the most pernicious. In summer, excessive heat stresses developing caterpillars already vulnerable to diseases and predators. In fall, unseasonable warmth can prevent them from heading south in time to reach their wintering grounds, and extreme weather events like hurricanes can destroy an entire wave of the migration before it reaches Mexico…”

“The life cycle of the monarch hinges on the availability of milkweed, but the prevalence of the herbicide Roundup has made milkweed very hard to find: Crops genetically modified to withstand herbicides can be carpet-sprayed, poisoning every wildflower in its wake. Milkweed, which once grew in great stands along the nation’s roadsides and in the margins of farms, essentially disappeared from the American landscape overnight. In 1996, the year before Roundup-resistant soybeans and corn were first planted in the Midwest, the butterflies’ primary migration corridor, there were a billion migrating monarchs in North America. This year there are roughly 109 million, and that number is down 27 percent from just last year.”

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