There has been a significant decline in the population of monarch butterflies around the United States. However, we might soon see the species reviving. If statements of a biologist representing the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department are to be believed, the state might be playing a very important role in conserving the monarch butterflies.
According to biologist Mark Ferguson, the old fields and meadows in Vermont provide a home to milkweeds, which constitute the primary food source for the monarchs. While the adults of this species lay eggs on milkweeds, the caterpillars survive on those plants.
Ferguson further informed that the increase in herbicide use in agricultural fields of mid-western United States seems to have decreased milkweed’s abundance in those parts of the nation.
Information provided by the Fish & Wildlife Department of the state suggests that during the winter months, the majority of the eastern monarchs live in a particular location in the Central Mexican Mountains. According to Ferguson, as these creatures migrate north, reproducing at regular intervals is pretty common for them. For completing the process smoothly they need each of the sites inhabited by them to have milkweed.
Ferguson said that it’s unlikely that monarchs that leave the wintering grounds of Mexico succeed in reaching Vermont. He added that several generations of these colorful insects are born in the mountains of Mexico, but they die on the way when trying to reach the meadows of Vermont. However, as the monarchs have the habit of reproducing frequently, the grandchildren and/or great-grandchildren of the ones leaving Mexico do reach Vermont every summer.
Ferguson feels that as monarchs require milkweed for reproducing, anything that the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department can do for promoting this crucially important plant species will allow these creatures thrive.
According to John Holdren, a science advisor at the White House, pollinators are currently going through a tough time in the United States. Holdren reported that a recent federal survey has found that the year 2014 has seen the beekeepers lose over 40% of their colonies. However, the good news is that they have later managed to recover by dividing the surviving hives.
In the past two decades, the number of monarchs spending winter in the forests of Mexico has decreased by more than 90%. This has compelled the US government to work in partnership with Mexico for expanding the insects’ habitat in the country’s southern part.