Jul 26, 2022 - Things to Do

How to help the endangered Monarch butterfly

A monarch butterfly rests on an orange milkweed flower
Photo: Natalie Kolb/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

In another sign our climate is headed in the wrong direction, the migratory Monarch butterfly is now endangered, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

  • Ohio is part of the butterfly's breeding grounds, which means we can help with conservation.

Why it matters: Endangered is just two categories away from extinction.

  • Populations of one of North America's most recognizable insects have declined 22% to 72% in the last 10 years, depending on measurement method.

Threat level: Human-induced habitat loss through development and pesticides is mostly to blame. Climate change is also a fast-growing threat, disrupting migration patterns and causing destructive weather.

🌱 How to help: Monarch caterpillars grow and feed exclusively on milkweed plants, so plant some seeds in the fall for next year's broods.

💭 Alissa's thought bubble: I've found it takes little effort for these tall, beautiful plants to grow, adding a pop of color to your garden. It's called a weed for a reason.

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