Monarch Butterfly Habitat Creation
Monarch butterfly migration is a spectacular natural event. North American monarchs travel up to an 3,000 miles in an annual migration from their summer breeding habitat in the central and northern US to overwintering grounds in Florida and Mexico. However, monarchs are gravely threatened. Monarch populations have declined 95% over the last 20 years. This is due in large part to the decimation of their native habitat. Monarchs need milkweed plants to lay their eggs and as the sole food source for their larvae. Milkweed is disappearing from the American landscape, in part due to modern land use practices. Many farms grow crops that are genetically modified to resist herbicides. The herbicides kill plants such as milkweed that grow around farm fields and have no such protection. Urban sprawl has also eaten into monarch habitat.
The League is partnering with landowners and other conservation groups to plant milkweed across the state to support these beloved pollinators. By planting native milkweed along roads and on protected properties, we will create a consistent habitat for monarchs as they migrate. Individuals can also have a major impact on monarch populations by planting native milkweed in their yards and at their schools and offices. Together, we can sustain and revive monarch populations in South Carolina and beyond.