Everyone knows that the monarchs love milkweed plants as a critical food source for their caterpillars. Monarchs tend to show up in the northeast just as the milkweed plants start to bloom. But herbicides and development are impacting the population of these colorful pollinators. We also know that the adult butterflies migrate south for the winter months. But do you know where they go?
Master Gardener volunteer, Devon Russ, and Jenni Cawein join the podcast, Nature Calls: Conversations from the Hudson Valley with a fascinating discussion about Monarchs. They took a very interesting World Wildlife Fund tour to the Sierra Madre mountains in central Mexico. There they watched the monarchs in their winter habitat located above 10,000 feet in elevation.
Have you ever seen hundreds of thousands of monarchs in one place? Did you know that you can actually hear their wings flap as you watch monarch butterflies hanging from the branches of special trees that create a micro-climate that is critical for their survival?
It takes four generations of monarchs to migrate from the northeast to Mexico and back. The single generation that lives in Mexico in the winter do not reproduce, but rather preserve their energy to make the return trip to the US (usually Texas).
Learn all about these fascinating butterflies in this podcast episode.
Hosts: Jean Thomas and Tim Kennelty
Guests: Devon Russ and Jenni Cawein
Photo by: Tim Kennelty
Production Support: Linda Aydlett and Teresa Golden
Resources: Cornell Cooperative Extension | Monarch Butterflies (ccecolumbiagreene.org); Supporting Monarch Butterflies – Cornell Farm (cornellfarms.com); Monarch Watch; Monarch Butterfly | Species | WWF (worldwildlife.org)
Last updated February 23, 2023