The Tri-National Race to Rescue a Species
The Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinators Collaborative, supported by the Coalition Foundation, focuses on engaging, educating and inspiring Oklahomans to be aware of the challenges to the iconic butterfly species. At OMPC, the consortia team works to engage many sectors of landholders to employ best practices for supporting pollinators, to encourage mayors and municipalities to craft conservation-friendly policy with respect to maintenance and civic codes, and to provide individuals with the tools, tips and resources to participate in healthy monarch habitats.
OMPC also works closely with many other states in sharing best practices, topics of concern, educational tools, and the latest information on the species. Oklahoma plays a key role in the butterflies migration flyway (in both spring and fall), but the Sooner state is only one of many zones that provide nectar sources to the species and host plants for egg-laying females and their caterpillars.
While we will see “stragglers” who have chosen to stay south or not yet moved north, most monarchs have moved to northern U.S. states and some are already in Canada.
To see where the monarchs are in their 2018 migration pattern, follow this link: http://www.okiesformonarchs.org/where-are-the-monarchs-now/
To understand a little more about the interconnectivity of the work of every conservation team and initiative in helping preserve this endangered pollinator, check out this recent Washington Post story by Kate Furby.
Dr. Chip Taylor, founder of Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas, reports that his statistical analysis of some waystations suggests that the second generation of monarchs in 2018 will be the largest in more than a decade. The hope and expectation is that this success with translate through multiple generations and result in a larger over-wintering colony in Mexico in the winter of 2018-19.
This is cause for hope and encouragement that all who are working to help the monarch by reducing pesticides, planting milkweed, planning waystations in strategic easements and rights-of-way, and communicating with ag/ranch/conservation landholders are making a difference in the spring journey.
Now we wait and see what role fall and winter conditions will play in this favorable forecast.
If you are not already aware of Monarch Watch, Journey North, or opportunities to support butterflies and research through fall blooming gardens and/or “tagging events,” OMPC encourages you to learn more and come out to future educational events.