Monarch Butterflies Begin Migrating Through KC. How Can You Help Them?
When I was a young kid in school, one of the science experiments we did was to collect caterpillars and put them in an environment where they could eat and hang upside down, spin their cocoon, and eventually become butterflies. We would then release them into the world and let them live their lives.
If you have seen butterflies around, there is also a potential you may start to see Monarch butterflies. Local conservationists say monarch butterflies have begun their fall migrations from Canada to Mexico, with many seen drifting through Missouri and Kansas City in fragments of orange and black.
Monarch butterflies are not considered a federally protected species in the United States, however, they are considered an internationally endangered species due to habitat loss and decreasing populations. You can read a little bit more HERE.
Now how can we help these creatures with their migration? There are a few things you can do. Planting native plant species that monarchs depend on for energy – a food source that conservationists say is becoming rare.
You can collect monarch caterpillars and do what I did in school. Monarch caterpillars host solely on milkweed, a common plant found dispersed throughout North and South America, containing toxins unsafe for many animals to eat. Experts say the plants are essential to sustaining monarchs during breeding and migration seasons, as well as equipping them with defense mechanisms capable of deterring predators.
I realize this may take a lot of doing. If you choose to pass, just keep an eye out for these beautiful butterflies and enjoy their beauty. They may be passing through.