In the last decade, due to habitat loss and other factors, monarch butterfly populations have plummeted at an alarming rate. Monarch populations are measured by the total forest area occupied by overwintering monarch colonies. Nine (9) monarch colonies were located in the 2017-18 winter season with a total area of 2.48 hectares, a 14.77% decrease from 2016-17.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service will be considering a petition to list monarchs as an endangered species, to be decided in 2019. This has spurred national conservation collaboration efforts, with over 16 states developing statewide action plans for conserving habitat in their state for this amazing migratory butterfly. > Learn more about Oklahoma's statewide action plan.
OKLAHOMA'S IMPORTANT ROLE
Oklahoma is centrally located in the monarch migratory path.
In order for Monarchs to thrive, we Okies must provide ample food, shelter and breeding grounds during both their migrations.
- Spring migration & breeding: Monarchs found in breed in the central and eastern US and southern Canada and winter in Mexico. Each spring, these butterflies leave Mexico and fly northward through our great state in search of milkweed plants on which to lay their eggs. Once hatched, caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed.
- Fall migration: Come fall, monarchs funnel back toward Mexico. Along the way, they find refuge in stopover sights with abundant nectar sources and shelter from harsh weather.
Ready to Help Save the Monarchs?
There are many things that Okies can do to help Monarchs during their migration! Make a commitment now to ensure thriving populations of Monarchs for generations to come