If you’re an outdoors-person or gardener, you may have heard butterflies being referred to as a proverbial “canary in the mine.” For instance, for unknown centuries, the yearly Monarch migration flies down our coast, heading south to survive the winter in warmer climates. However, Monarch & other butterfly populations in the Coastal South have dramatically declined over recent decades. This has been attributed to loss of habitat and increased pesticide use.
How can you help? Plant milkweed!
While a variety of butterflies enjoy milkweed, Monarch butteries are 100% dependent on a this group of plants to support their young. Adult Monarchs can eventually sip nectar from a variety of flowers, but their caterpillars can only eat the leaves of milkweeds.
AVOID (considered parasitic):
Posts are a combination of my own research, visits, and conversations, plus various information found around the web. I try to provide sources, but if you have specific questions, feel free to ask!