Thursday, November 7, 2013

Few monarchs in Eastern Canada...


During summer and  fall I noticed only a few Monarch butterflies in our garden and parks. Visitors to our Guild Park asked where are the Monarch butterflies?

I know that we have a small colony of  Monarch butterflies below the Scarborough Bluffs. But after three years of heavy traffic along the service road I counted only four butterflies. 
But with habitat loss caused by the very invasive dog-strangling vine besides other factors, numbers of the Monarch butterflies are dwindling. 
Dog-strangling vine belongs to the milkweed family. The vine is similar enough to the common milkweed that monarch butterflies will lay their eggs on it. Given a choice between the two plants, the butterflies will lay approximately 25% of their eggs on the Dog Strangling Vine. All of the resulting larvae die. 

I believe every gardener can play a very important role to help Monarch butterflies by planting milkweeds in their gardens.

Buddleja davidii, butterfly-bush, flowering sedum and milkweed provide important nectar for bees and nectar-seeking insects, and a larval food source for Monarch butterflies and their relatives, as well as a variety of other herbivorous insects.

“In real estate it’s location, location, location and for monarchs and other wildlife it’s habitat, habitat, habitat”, said Chip Taylor, Director of Monarch Watch. 
Monarch Watch (www.MonarchWatch.org) started in 1992 as an outreach program dedicated to engaging the public in studies of monarchs and is now concentrating its efforts on monarch conservation. 





Monarch picture taken in Rosetta McClain Garden, Toronto 
® guild-rez
CBC reported in September 2103 - please visit the link below...

Few monarchs in eastern Canada this year.