Monarch Butterfly Conservation

Probably the best known and most easily recognizable butterfly is the orange and black patterned monarch butterfly. Each fall, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies migrate from the United States and Canada to over-wintering areas in Mexico and California where they wait out the winter until conditions favor a return flight in the spring. The monarch migration is truly one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, yet it is threatened by habitat loss in North America. Without food – milkweeds and nectar sources – Monarch butterflies cannot make the long journey to their winter homes in Mexico.


These native habitats are declining due to development, and the over-use of herbicides and frequent mowing along our roadsides has converted much of this common habitat to grasslands – lacking in food and shelter for wildlife. Unfortunately, the remaining milkweed habitats are not sufficient to sustain large monarch populations.

We need to create, conserve, and protect milkweed and monarch habitats. You can help these amazing butterflies by creating “Monarch Waystations” in home gardens, at schools, businesses, parks, zoos, nature centers, along roadsides, and on other unused plots of land. Below is a list of milkweed and other nectar rich plants that can be easily incorporated into your landscape. By creating and maintaining a Monarch Waystation you are contributing to monarch conservation.


Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)


Indian Blanket
Purple Coneflower
Joe Pye Weed
Scarlet Sage
Mexican Sunflower
Zinnia, Dahlia Mix


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