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Finding a Connection in Conservation

It is not uncommon to have spiritual experiences when in nature. A deep breath of fresh air has a certain healing effect and allows our brains to reset. For many people, having natural experiences offers the opportunity for great realizations. These realizations can be minor and puzzling at times, and at others, they answer the big questions that keep us up at night. They help us recognize how to truly make an impact when the odds are against us. While on a recent trip to Mexico to visit monarch overwintering sites, the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab’s Sarah Weaver, found a deeper understanding of her purpose working in conservation. Read More »

Spring 2017 MLMP Newsletter Now Available!

The Spring 2017 MLMP Update Newsletter is now available online! Check out the newsletter for an update on volunteer habitat restoration at Coldwater Springs; Spring Monitoring Tips; a butterfly poem by George Kittell, called The Transformation; MLMP How- To: Distinguishing One Milkweed Plant from Another; and MLMP Data Used in Monarch Pasasitoid Webinar! Read More »

Winter 2016-2017 MLMP Newsletter Now Available!

The Winter 2016-2017 MLMP Update Newletter is now available online! Check out the newsletter for a monarch poem by George Kittell, called Against All Odds; Winter Monitoring Tips; MLMP Summer 2016 Data update; MLMP Tachinid Fly Discovery Update; MLMP Scenario - How should I keep my monarchs organized?; New Research Uses MLMP Data to Inform Monarch Conservation! Read More »

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 »

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