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Monarch Butterflies And What You Can Do To Save Them
Do You Know Monarch Butterflys Have Been Around For 10 Million Years?
Monarch Butterflies have been around on earth for over 10 million years and it is man that is endangering monarch butterflies by destroying and removing milkweed which the monarch caterpillars must have to eat. Also known by some people as milkweed butterflies their milkweed is being destroyed all across the United States. Here on this Hub Page we are trying to educate people about the monarch butterfly and we are asking people to plant milkweed every where they can to help the monarch butterfly.
You may be asking what you can do to help. Well I can tell you real fast. Think Milkweed! Buy milkweed and butterfly bush seed and plant them every where you can. The good news is that if you plant milkweed the monarch butterflies will soon show up to lay eggs on your milkweed and soon you will have beautiful monarch caterpillars eating on your milkweed. Soon they will make cocoons and out of those cocoons will emerge beautiful new monarch butterflies. And you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you helped out in getting those new monarch butterflies to be born.
Sp please read on and get involved with helping to preserve the monarch butterfly which is one of the most beautiful butterflies in the world. Even a few milkweed plants in containers can help.
What Do You Know About Monarch Butterflies?
The Monarch Butterfly is one of the most amazing creatures known to man. Every year they undertake and make an amazing 3000 mile journey from the United States to an area near Mexico City. But how do the butterflies know where to go and how do they return to the same area year after year. The butterflies making the trip down to Mexico have never been there. Scientists say that the butterflies are born with the knowledge of their migration route programed into them. And by the end of October the entire monarch population east of the Rocky Mountains will have migrated south to areas of pine and oak forest near Mexico City. Their journey and being able to do it is nothing short of incredible. They are the only butterfly that makes this kind of migration journey.
Unfortunately their population numbers are going down every year and this is in part due to milkweed being cut down and destroyed all across the United States and it is milkweed that the monarch butterfly must have to lay its eggs on and for the hatching caterpillars to eat. Monarch butterflies only lay their eggs on milkweed and their caterpillars only eat milkweed. A lot of milkweed is destroyed to build houses, roads, and businesses. And a lot of people cut it down out of their yards because they think it's a weed and they don't like milkweed. We need to encourage people not to cut down milkweed and we need to get people to plant milkweed. It would be nice if we could get people to plant patches of milkweed all across the United States to encourage a come back of the monarch butterfly. It would be really sad if this magnificent butterfly was allowed to vanish from our life.
What Do Monarch Butterflies Eat?
Monarch butterflies lay their eggs only on milkweed and monarch butterflies only eat milkweed. There is something in the milkweed that allows the caterpillar to change into the beautiful butterfly it becomes. The milkweed makes the monarch butterflies and their caterpillars poison though some birds have figured out a way to eat them. And in their winter home in Mexico about 14 percent of the adult monarch butterflies are eaten by birds and mice.
Adult monarch butterflies drink nectar from all kinds of flowers , liquid from fruits and vegetables, and water. If you want a lot of monarch butterflies in your yard plant fruit trees, plant milkweed and plant plenty of flowers that monarchs like and you will have a yard full of beautiful monarch butterflies. You also need to provide large flat rocks for them to sun themselves on and shallow pools of water for them to drink from. Male monarchs also take in moisture and minerals from damp soil and gravel which is known as mud puddling. You can also buy butterfly feeders and put them up also. If you want butterfly feeders search Google for them. You should also buy and plant plenty of butterfly weed in your yard or garden because its nectar is a favorite food of the adult monarchs. Butterfly weed is also a pretty plant with lots of beautiful flowers. The butterfly plant will also draw in all kinds of other beautiful butterfly's.
The proboscis which is like a little straw that the monarch butterfly keeps rolled up under its head when not in use is what the monarch butterfly uses to drink the nectar from flowers with. This is the reason that monarch butterflies eat an almost all liquid diet. It would be kind of had to eat anything solid when you eat everything you eat with a straw. Monarch butterflies are always looking for something liquid to eat. Some people like to buy butterfly houses to hang around their yards and gardens.
Complete Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
How You Can Help The Monarch Butterfly.
The monarch butterfly just continues to amaze me. If you look at the above photos you can see how a monarch butterfly goes from being a caterpillar to turning into a beautiful butterfly. It never fails to amaze me at what nature can do. It's just amazing. Once you ever set and watch these caterpillars eat I think it will amaze you to that these caterpillars become the beautiful butterflies they do.
If you want monarch and other kinds of butterflies to hang around your yard you need to stay as pesticide free as possible. Use plants, ladybugs, praying mantis, and other natural methods to keep your yard and gardens pesticide free. Pesticides are one of the things that are killing off monarch and other types of butterflies in huge numbers.
I would also plant butterfly bush and milkweed in my garden. I am currently working with being allowed to plant butterfly bush and milkweed in vacant lots and unused land here in North Carolina to try to improve conditions for the monarch butterfly's in this area. If everyone would plant milkweed in their gardens we could really help to improve the future of the monarch butterfly.
Monarch butterflies go through four generations a year. The first three generations hatch out from their cocoons an live for four to six weeks, but the last generation to hatch out of their cocoons goes on an epic 3000 mile journey and lives for six to eight months. They use inherited memories and the position of the sun in the sky to find their way 3000 miles. Not one of the millions of butterflies that make the journey south have ever been on it before. And in the spring they make a return journey back to where the generations before them was born.
Female monarch butterfly's lay several hundred eggs during their short four to six week life. Their caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed and with out milkweed the monarch butterfly would cease to exist. Once the monarch butterfly hatches out into a butterfly it can eat the nectar from any plant including the milkweed.
Please Plant Milkweed In Your Garden, Yard, Or Patio.
I would like to ask that everyone who reads this to please plant milkweed in their garden or just in a few containers on your patio if that's all the room you have. You can obtain seeds for milkweed by CLICKING HERE NOW. You can CLICK HERE for instructions on growing milkweed for the monarch butterflies. You can make it a school or church project and really help to improve the habitat of the monarch butterfly in your area. And thank you in advance for wanting to help.
At the first link above they ask for a $3 donation and a self addressed stamped envelope and they will send you milkweed seeds. If you want more seeds include a larger donation. They will even send you a few seeds if you just send a request for milkweed seeds and include a self addressed stamped envelope.
I hope you will think about ordering some seeds to plant as it will really help the monarch butterfly's to continue to exist. If enough people would get involved we could really help to increase the monarch butterfly population. I promise you the monarch butterflies will show up to lay eggs on the milkweed plants you plant and they will be back year after year as long as you keep providing milkweed plants for them to lay their eggs on and for the monarch butterflies to feed on.
The other link I gave you there provides you with detailed information on planting and growing milkweed.
Monarch Butterflies Migration
Lesson And Project Ideals For Teachers And Parents.
Teachers Guide Planting Milkweed
What You Will Need
1. A Styrofoam Cup For Each Child., Have Them Write Their Name On Their Cup.
2. Enough Potting Soil To Fill Each Cup.
3. Milkweed Seed, 3-4 For Each Cup.
You want to start by poking holes in the bottom of the cups.
Fill each cup with potting soil up to the lip of the cup.
Gently push 3-4 seed just under the dirt in each cup.
Slowly wet each cup down by pouring a little water in the top of each cup.
You may want to set the cups in the window sills on paper towels before you add the water. You want to make sure that each child's name is on their cup.
The seeds will come up in a few days and start growing. Let them grow until they are 5-7 inches tall and then you have a choice to make.
1. Is there a place on school property to set out the milkweed plants. You will need to get permission before you can do this.
2. If you do plant the milkweed on school property be sure everyone knows not to cut it down. Once a week or so you and the children can go see what is going on with the milkweed. See if monarch caterpillars eventually show up.
3. Or the children can take the milkweed plants home with them and ask their parent to help them plant their milkweed plants in their yard, garden, or a larger container. You could even ask the children to take a photo of their plant at various stages to bring to school and show everyone. Also be sure to tell them to report if they find monarch caterpillars on their plant.
You can of course do research of your own and provide the children with photos of milkweed and maybe a information sheet about monarch butterflies. Feel free to print this Hub Page out and make copies of it to hand out.
This could also be a home project to do with your children or a Sunday School or Scout Troop project.
If you have any questions feel free to ask them below in the comments section and I will try to answer your question quickly.
Monarch Caterpilliars Will Only Feed On Milkweed.
Got Milkweed? Monarch Butterfly Restoration Project
I want to thank you for reading my Hub Page on Monarch Butterflies and I hope you found the information helpful. If you liked this page please send the link to it to all your friends so they can read it to. Please encourage everyone you know to plant milkweed. Even a few seeds can make a difference.
Please send the link to this Hub Page to school with your kids or if you have the teachers email address send the link to this Hub Page about Helping To Save The Monarch Butterfly. Below is the short link to this Hub Page.
Below is a coloring page of the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. Print it off by clicking for the large photo and then print it off for children to color. It would be really great if you would print the coloring page off , run them off for your child's class to color and they could share the link to this Hub Page with their parents when they go home with the colored page. Thanks everyone for any help you can give. Lets spread the word and try to help the Monarch Butterfly all we can. Thanks everyone.
We have also added more coloring pages and please feel free to print them off and share them with all the kids you know. Please be sure that the children and their parents see this Hub Page.
Coloring Pages For Kids. Feel Free To Print These Off And Make Copies.
Please Share This Hub Page With Friends, Family, Teachers Etc.
As long as the images on this page are not used for commercial purposes you have permission to print them off for educational purposes or to allow your children to color them. We are using them to bring awareness to the world that the population of Monarch Butterflies are in a major decline. We are trying to get everyone we can to plant milkweed to try to help the population of Monarch Butterflies to increase and stabilize. If not enough people care then Monarch Butterflies will continue to decline until one day they may be gone. So please help if you can by SHARING this Hub Page with everyone you know and by planting milkweed where ever you can.