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Upstate Meeting: Monarch Butterflies, Migration, and Native Plants
September 19, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
What’s the big deal about Monarchs? Monarch Butterflies are the only butterfly known to migrate like many birds do–flying south in the fall and returning north in the spring. Unlike many other butterflies, Monarchs don’t overwinter in North America. To avoid our cold winters, they must fly to warmer climates. For unknown millennia, Monarchs have been flying to a handful of sites in the mountains of Mexico where the temperature and humidity are just right for them to cluster together and keep warm.
If they’ve been doing this for so long, why are Monarchs suddenly in the news? Monarchs are in trouble. Viewed over the past few decades, the numbers of Monarchs have plummeted and biologists are concerned that they may be facing extinction. What’s happened? There are many suspects, including loss of host plants, destruction of habitat, climate change, and increased pesticide use. While any one of these factors could be problematic, taken together they may spell doom for Monarchs. These butterflies are the proverbial “canary in the mine.” Their troubles are our troubles, warning of danger to the health and well-being of humans as well as plants and other animals.
Does new research suggest better ways for gardeners and nature lovers to help the monarchs? Attend the lecture and find out. The event is free and open to the public, so invite your friends. A reception follows the presentation.
Sarah Ross is president of The Wormsloe Foundation and Director of the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History in addition to her faculty appointment at the University of Georgia where she holds the position of Executive Director of the UGA Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe. UGA-CREW, in partnership with WIEH, conducts research focused on three centuries of evolving land use on the Georgia coast and the resulting cultural adaptations.
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