Butterflies and other Pollinators provide vital ecosystem services but are currently at risk due to loss of habitat and other factors. You can help by planting a pollinator friendly garden in your own yard. Additional benefits include the pleasure of observing these beautiful creatures in your garden! Scroll down to learn more about gardening for butterflies and pollinators.
The Migratory Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
Monarch Butterflies pass through North Texas twice a year as they migrate to and from their overwintering site in the mountains of Mexico. The migrations occur September-October, then again in March-May. Monarch adults depend on nectar for food, while monarch caterpillars depend solely on the leaves of milkweed plants.
In July 2022, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the Migratory Monarch Butterfly as endangered. Habitat loss, widespread herbicide and pesticide use, and climate change are all thought to have contributed to a decrease in population.
Gardening for Butterflies and Pollinators
When creating a garden for butterflies and pollinators consider planting native flowering plants, eliminating or reducing your use of pesticides and herbicides, and leaving some fallen leaves on the ground through winter as many species lay their eggs in the leaf litter under trees.