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Mota-Sanchez Studying Ways to Save Monarch Butterflies

Entomologist David Mota-Sanchez is developing milkweeds and other butterfly-friendly plants to provide refuge for monarch butterflies as part of the USDA NC-507 rapid response team working to improve the monarch butterfly habitat in the north central states.

Along with surveying monarch larva on milkweeds, he will conduct outreach to farmers and citizens of Michigan regarding the importance of restoring monarch butterfly populations. With its millions of acres planted with field crops and grasslands as well as other areas suitable for monarch butterflies, Michigan is very important to the butterfly’s survival.

David Mota-Sanchez

David Mota-Sanchez

In February 2016, Mota-Sanchez traveled to the monarch overwintering sites in Mexico. Unfortunately, following a season of population growth in the United States, an unusual frost event killed millions of butterflies in Mexico. The video above, “Saving monarch butterflies,” is based on Mota-Sanchez’s travels to the sanctuaries.

For tips about planting habitat for monarchs in Michigan and similar climates, see “Growing milkweeds for monarch butterflies” by Michigan State University Extension.

- Department of Entomology

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