Indiana April 19, 2019
Millions and Millions of Monarch Butterflies Are Headed Straight For Indiana This Spring
You don’t have to wait for your local botanic garden to hatch its butterflies to enjoy the magic of this majestic creature. Millions of monarch butterflies are heading toward the Hoosier state as we speak, and there are plenty of ways you can prepare.
If you love butterflies, there’s no way you’ll want to miss this phenomenon. Scroll on for more details.
Each year, millions of monarch butterflies make their way across North America from Mexico to Canada navigating "flyways" that pass right through the middle of Indiana. It won't be long before you start to see these orange and black beauties in your backyard.
Monarch butterflies are the only butterfly known to migrate. They make a massive, two-way trip each year in order to avoid cold temperatures. It actually takes several generations of butterflies in one season to complete the migration.
In the above map, the first three panels show migration patterns for March and some of April. Panel five shows where the butterflies will be April through August while the final panel shows their flyways for September through November.
They travel 50 to 100 miles each day and take up to two months to complete their odyssey, pollinating along the way. This creature is not just gorgeous, it is also pertinent to our ecosystem.
It is estimated that monarch populations have declined by 80 percent over the past 20 years. Contemporary efforts have brought about a recent resurgence, but there is still more that can be done. On reason for the decline is a loss of the butterflies' food source: milkweed.
Milkweed is both a food source and the only place monarch butterflies will lay their eggs. Many choose to kill it along with the dandelions and other weeds in the yard because it is not aesthetically pleasing. If you help keep these plants alive, though, you may find yourself with a yard full of monarch butterflies.
Another way you can help is by becoming a Monarch Mama, or someone who tags these butterflies. It is easy to get a kit and learn how to apply tiny paper stickers to adult monarchs. This helps scientists track changes in the species's migration patterns and population.
to learn more about tagging monarchs with Monarch Watch.
So don't spray your milkweed, and let your yards overgrow with the stuff this spring. It's your excuse not to mow the lawn so the butterflies will have something to eat.
If you really love animals, check out these
15 photos of wildlife in Indiana that will drop your jaw.
Once the monarch butterflies arrive, we’d love to see your incredible photos. Please join our
Nature Lover’s Group on Facebook where you can share them and other images with a community of outdoors enthusiasts just like you.