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Monarchs and Permits for Roadside Mowing in Minnesota

A recent study from the U of MN Monarch Lab (Kasten et. al, 2016) shows that roadsides, if managed appropriately, have the potential to be productive breeding habitat for monarchs. Monarchs need milkweed to reproduce and feed on as caterpillars, and development and changing land use has removed a lot of milkweed and native nectar plants from the landscape, especially in agricultural areas. Roadside rights-of-way provide an exciting opportunity for pollinator habitat because they make up a large area of undeveloped land in a rapidly changing landscape. Read More »

Where Are All The Monarchs?

On March 9th 2016, just days after we’d heard the good news that monarch numbers had rebounded to cover just over 4 hectares of forest in the mountains of central Mexico; a huge winter storm hit their wintering sites and the surrounding area. The storm began with rain and was followed by hail, snow, and sub-freezing temperatures. The freezing temperatures killed many monarchs and the strong winds caused trees to topple over, losing monarch habitat. Because the spring migration from Mexico just started, the full population was in the storm's path. Read More »

Collecting Data on Reared Monarchs for Citizen Science

The decreasing monarch population has ignited concern across the country and many people are working to conserve this iconic species through actions like planting milkweed and nectar sources, limiting pesticide use, and engaging communities through educational efforts. Another great way to get involved is to join a citizen science project, and help to inform future priorities for monarch conservation across the United States. Read More »

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