Milkweed for monarchs: Local plant giveaways aim to sustain butterfly

Ventura County Star (Camarillo, CA)

July 14, 2022

Hundreds of Ventura County residents are converging on events to pick up free native milkweed plants that support monarch butterflies and provide an alternative to a recently banned nonnative milkweed harmful to monarchs.

Last month, county Agricultural Commissioner Ed Williams prohibited the sale of a tropical milkweed called Asclepias curassavica after the California Department of Food and Agriculture classified it as a B-rated noxious weed. That means the state considers the species detrimental and counties can ban its sale.

Read the rest of the article at the Ventura County Star website.

New pollinator garden helping monarch butterflies thrive

ABC News Channel 20 (Springfield, IL)

July 12, 2022

City Water, Light and Power’s Land & Water Resources Department has established a new pollinator garden.

The pollinator garden acts as one of the many Monarch waystations around Lake Springfield.

Planting milkweed is one of several ways to help pollinators as it provides monarchs with shelter, milkweed, and other pollinator plants to help their migration.

Read the rest of the article at the News Channel 20 website.

Trenton (ME) pledges to save monarch butterflies

News Center Maine (Portland, ME)

July 6, 2022

Monarch butterflies may be the most familiar butterfly in North America. It’s hard to miss the black, orange, and white patterned wings fluttering from flower to flower. But spotting them is becoming less common.

The population of the monarch butterfly has declined in recent years.

The eastern monarch population dropped about 88 percent from 1996 to 2020, from an estimated 383 million to just under 45 million, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Proposed solar farm pledges big bee, butterfly habitat

The Republic (Columbus, IN)

June 27, 2022

Developers of a proposed solar energy farm in northeastern Bartholomew County are pledging to incorporate what would be the largest “pollinator garden” in the county, providing vital habitat for butterflies and bees that are essential for food and vegetation.

The proposed Swallowtail Solar Farm, which developers Arevon Energy Inc. and Tenaska want to build on agricultural land leased from owners in Clay and Flat Rock Townships, would generate 200 megawatts of clean renewable energy, enough to power more than 30,000 homes.

Read the rest of this article at The Republic website.

County implementing new mowing practices along state highways to boost monarch habitat

La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, WI)

June 28, 2022

You may notice more lush greenery along state highways in La Crosse County this summer, and if you’re lucky you may also spot the fluttering wings of a monarch butterfly.

The reason for the longer foliage is a new Wisconsin Department of Transportation program to increase habitat enjoyed by monarchs along state highways. The state program will pause mowing along highways until October, when the butterfly season is over. Previously, all mowing had to be completed by July 1.

The La Crosse County Highway Department is responsible for maintaining 162 miles of state highways within La Crosse County, which includes mowing rights-of-way.

Read the rest of this article at the La Crosse Tribune website.

New pollinator garden at WA state capitol gives people and bees a place to have lunch

Tacoma News-Tribune

July 3, 2022

A new garden on the state Capitol campus in Olympia is attracting visitors by foot and by wing.

The Capitol Campus Pollinator Garden opened last week with colorful stands of golden yarrow, blue salvia, sweet-smelling alyssum and other flowers that winged critters find delectable.

Read more at the Tacoma News-Tribune website.


Interior Department commits to urgent actions to conserve the monarch butterfly

U.S. Department of the Interior

June 23, 2022

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Shannon Estenoz, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Martha Williams and Senator Jeff Merkley joined science experts and policymakers at the first-ever Monarch Butterfly Summit in Washington, DC, on June 22-23, 2022. 

The two-day summit was organized to share the latest science and conservation actions being taken to address the long-term population decline of the western monarch butterfly, bringing together key stakeholders from across the science and policy communities to identify priority actions to conserve the western monarch butterfly. Leading experts provided the current state of the science, natural history, population status, habitats and barriers to conservation success. 

Read the rest of the press release here.

Merkley gives lift to monarch butterfly preservation (Medford, OR)

June 26, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Monarch butterflies seem to have many supporters, including an Oregon senator who’s getting $1-million on their behalf.

Senator Jeff Merkley and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced the $1-million investment during their two-day monarch butterfly summit in Washington, D.C. this month to review protections for the species.

They announced the funding Thursday to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Conservation Fund and the establishment of a Pollinator Conservation Center at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Both projects are supported by the western monarch conservation funding Senator Merkley secured as Chairman of the Interior, Environment & Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee in the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bill.

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Climate change negatively impacting bumble bees


June 24, 2022

Temperature changes have negatively impacted most species of bumble bees over the past 120 years, according to new research published this week in Biology Letters. The researchers note that changes in temperature had more of a negative impact than other factors — such as precipitation or floral resources.

“Bumble bees are important pollinators for wild plants and for the crops humans rely on for food. That’s why we need to develop conservation strategies that account for the future impacts of climate change on bee populations,” says study lead Hanna Jackson, a Masters student in the M’Gonigle Lab in biological sciences at Simon Fraser University.

Jackson and her colleagues analyzed an existing dataset containing records on 46 bumble bee species across North America between 1900 — 2020. They created two occupancy models — one focused on time and the other on environmental factors — to estimate effects of climate and land-use variables on species’ occupancy, a measure of where species are found. They found that six bumble bee species decreased through time, 22 increased and the remaining 18 were stable.

Continue reading this article at ScienceDaily.

Celebrate Pollinator Week and help save the bees that pollinate our food (San Antonio, TX)

June 20, 2022

This is Pollinator Week — a time to celebrate birds, bats, bees, beetles and butterflies.

Even if you’re not a bat or bug person, your life is still directly affected by pollinators every single day.

Love margaritas? The agave plant, which produces an essential ingredient in tequila, depends on bats for pollination.

“Pollinators play an important role in our ecosystems and food systems,” said Luke Metzger, Executive Director of Environment Texas. “This Pollinator Week, we’re doubling down on our pledge to do all we can to protect our precious pollinators that help make our flowers bloom and trees bear fruit.”

Read the rest of the article at