Group Working to Improve Iowa’s Habitat for Monarch Butterflies

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Monarch butterfly.

DES MOINES, Iowa – A conservation group is rolling out a new statewide strategy aimed at increasing monarch butterfly populations.

The Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium unveiled the plan this week and is asking Iowa farmers to join the effort. It also hopes to use farm bill resources to create monarch breeding habitat, promote use of monarch-friendly weed management in ditches, and establish monarch way stations with native nectar plants and milkweeds in home and community gardens.

A report released last month says wintering monarch populations in Mexico dropped 27-percent this year. Roughly 40-percent of the butterfly population that winters in Mexico comes from Iowa and other Midwest states.

The goal of the new strategy is to improve habitats in rural landscapes to promote monarch population growth.  Apart from being pretty, butterflies are important pollinators for Iowa crops and flowers.

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