Milkweed not the solution for Monarch declines

A great post on the milkweed debate from LepLog. There are no easy solutions to stopping the decline, but don’t stop planting habitat for Monarchs as well as other endangered species. As usual, the answers are still coming in for a complex problem, just like the honeybee situation.

Common Milkweed

Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca


Lep Log

Monarch nectaring on goldenrod. Monarch nectaring on goldenrod.

I’ve talked with a number of you about this recent research from Cornell; I wanted to make you all aware of this paper (that I’ve been aware of for about a year as it worked its way through the peer review process).  It’s an in important paper with important implications for how we approach monarch conservation as a public issue.  In particular it has relevance on the matter of what actions would be appropriate if the monarch is listed as an endangered species, and what we in Maryland (and the mid-Atlantic in general) could be doing to support monarch populations.

As the Cornell researchers point out, quantity and quality of milkweed is not and has never been an issue in the decline of monarch populations in the East or the Midwest (there is just not enough data on Western monarch populations).  Taken literally, all the summer-blooming…

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About thegardendiaries

Claire Jones is a landscape and floral designer and owner of Claire Jones Landscapes, LLC. She designs and helps people to create their own personal outdoor oasis and loves to write about her gardening failures and successes.
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2 Responses to Milkweed not the solution for Monarch declines

  1. Frederick Hinchliffe II says:

    Very interesting. Oligoneuron rigidum (stiff goldenrod) is the plant mentioned. It seems it would be good to promote this plant both on and away from the coast for the benefit of foraging monarchs.


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