Monday, March 10, 2014

Monarchs in Crisis! Act NOW!

This past Fall 2013, I was stunned to see the drop off of monarchs passing through Cape May on their migration to Mexico. The year before, they were abundant, as you can see in these photos from September 15 in my back yard on Ocean Avenue, as they fed on nectar from English ivy:

and on cool, foggy September 29, down by the beach on Ocean Avenue, as they prepared to cross the Delaware Bay:

For more photos and story, please refer to blog entry from March 24, 2013, Fall Reflections: Monarch Migration Snapshot.

I don't even have a photo from this past fall of 2013, as I kept waiting and they never really came. Just one here and then a couple there would flutter by.

Their population has been in a steady decline for the last 2 decades and has reached a CRISIS situation with more than 90% of the population in decline.

For a detailed report, please see Monarch Watch's Population Status report from January 29, 2014:

and for further info, see:

This drastic decline in population can be attributed to the following factors:

1. Habitat loss along their migratory routes as well as in Mexico
2. Use of herbicides on large scale farms, killing their main larval host plant, native Milkweed
3. Use of pesticides
4. Severe drought in the west
5. Climate change


a. Plant milkweed. Seeds are available FREE at this site: or go to your local nursery. The variety that grows best in the NE is Asclepias syriaca and looks like this:

b. Plant native plants and flowers for them to feed upon. See this site for suggestions:

c. Avoid pesticides and herbicides, using them only when necessary and be sure to follow the labeled instructions.

d. Buy sustainable, organic, and GMO free products

e. Spread the word

To inform yourself further, see Monarch Watch: