“Biological diversity is the key to the maintenance of the world as we know it.”
~ E.O. Wilson, Biodiversity
Citizens in Missouri and far beyond are concerned about the dramatic drop in monarch butterfly populations, which is due in large part to the decline of the monarch butterfly caterpillar host plants, milkweed species (Asclepias) across its North American migratory route. Plants that provide nectar sources for adult butterflies—as well as many, many other beneficial insects including numerous pollinators—are also of critical importance.
Below is information and links to resources that can help you help monarchs!
Conserving original habitat for monarch butterflies, including prairies, as well as establishing milkweed and nectar plant in developed landscapes—farmland, other rural areas, and in yards, school grounds, parks, and corporate campuses—is of critical importance.
Learn the basic facts about monarchs in this Monarch Fact Sheet, compiled with information from Monarch Watch and Monarch Joint Venture, courtesy of Missouri Master Naturalists, Confluence Chapter. Fact sheet includes a monarch butterfly migration map. You can also download thorough Monarch Habitat Information from NRCS and information on milkweed seed collecting.
If you are a Spanish speaker or know Spanish speakers, share with them this Monarch and Milkweed Fact Sheet in Spanish, written by Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall of Lincoln University’s Cooperative Extension.
The following milkweed species native to Missouri are particularly important for monarchs: marsh/swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), and butterfly milkweed (Asclepius tuberosa).