Four Monarch Caterpillar Condos await relocation in a Garland ISD classroom- October 19, 2015
Each of these baskets holds a future fourth generation Monarch--the ones that migrate to the Mexican highlands and live for several months instead of only several weeks. Jane Stroud, officer of the board of directors for Loving Garland Green brought them to our meeting tonight. Charlie and I already had the four "condos" waiting for them. The cloths on the top are there to prevent the caterpillars from crawling out. Each mesh laundry basket has one large Monarch caterpillar and one milkweed. These caterpillars are ultimately destined for four different groups of school children here in the Garland ISD tomorrow.
Jane also mentioned that she has nine more Monarch caterpillars. We may also obtain a few of those and distribute to a local school as well.
Why rescue Monarchs? Why not leave them in the wild?
It is estimated that less than 5% of Monarchs complete their life cycle. Usually they fall prey to one of their many predators. In some cases, the eggs are never deposited because the female Monarch is not able to find a milkweed host plant--an essential requirement as the Monarch will not deposit eggs on any plant other than a milkweed.
Twenty years ago more than one billion Eastern monarch butterflies migrated to Mexico. In the winter of 2014, only 60 million made the trip. Someone drew an interesting parallel to that loss saying that it is comparable to losing all the population of the USA except for Ohio and Florida.
The good news is that when monarch eggs and caterpillars are placed in a protected environment, 95% of them become adult butterflies.
Help Texas save the Monarchs. Plant some milkweed in your garden!