Monarchs are under Siege.
This year may be one of the worst for the monarch butterfly, experts are reporting.
Severe hailstorms in Mexico (one of the monarchÂs winter homes) followed by 15 inches of rain has left the population decimated by up to 50 percent this year. Add to that the ongoing issue of habitat destruction, and the future of the monarch begins to look a little shaky.
Unlike most other insects in temperate climates, monarch butterflies cannot survive a long cold winter, according to MonarchWatch.org. Instead, they spend the winter in roosting spots. Monarchs west of the Rocky Mountains travel to small groves of trees along the California coast, while those east of the Rocky Mountains fly farther south to the forests high in the mountains of Mexico.
No other butterflies migrate like North American monarchs. They are the only butterflies to make such a long, round-trip migration of up to three thousand miles every year. ItÂs like "The Odyssey" of the insect world.
....An advocacy group is encouraging the public to create monarch habitats by planting milkweed in home gardens. They're also encouraging schools, zoos, farmers, and anyone else with access to unused land to grow the perennial plants.
Visit Monarchwatch.org to find out what else you can do. For more ways to help butterflies see First Aid for Butterflies and How to Make Butterfly Food.