Last year I found a single Monarch Butterfly chrysalis (silk mat from which they hang upside down) on the corner of my house. I made a simple cage around it to try to save it from being eaten. After 2 weeks, it started to get a lot colder outside and I knew if there was any chance of the Monarch Butterfly hatching, I would have to bring it in to a warmer place inside my garage (as it was late in the season). I made a small cage and attached the chrysalis upside down inside the cage. Unfortunately, the Monarch Butterfly never hatched.
I photograph the butterflies and I've seen over the past 5 years a decline in the Monarch Butterflies near me.
Milkweed is the only food that monarch caterpillars can eat, and it used to grow between crops in farmer's fields. Today it's largely removed by weedkillers. I just planted milkweed around my 2 1/2 acre property to help the Monarch Butterflies.
The Monarch butterflies will not be added to the federal endangered species list this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced. The agency found that the butterfly qualifies for the status but, for now, the species is precluded from protections and will be reconsidered annually until 2024, according to the report published in the Federal Register. Is 2024 too late? I don't know?
The Monarch Butterflies have faced decades of difficulties. In 40 years, America’s eastern population of monarchs, which flock to Mexico each winter, has seen its numbers drop by about 80 percent. Western monarchs, which overwinter in California, have lost closer to 99 percent of their population.