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Monitoring blitz set to keep Monarch butterfly population in check

Kaitlyn Riley

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The group is working with partners across the United States, Canada and Mexico for this project which are all areas that fit the Monarch migration pattern.

A 2019 International Monarch Monitoring Blitz is keeping an eye on Monarch butterflies across the continent.

Cora Preston, communications specialist with The Monarch Joint Venture, said they are asking people to find milkweed and report what they see whether it is an egg, caterpillar, or chrysalis between now and August 4. The idea is to get a snapshot of the breeding population.

“It is really troubling that they are in decline, and we need to get folks out monitoring to help understand this better so that we can inform our conservation efforts,” Preston said.

Preston said the decline in Monarch populations is because of a loss of habitat.

“When we are losing monarch habitat, we are not only losing monarchs, but we are also losing the benefits that the habitat provides for water quality, soil health, wildlife, pollination, and many other environmental benefits,” Preston said.

The group is working with partners across the United States, Canada and Mexico for this project which are all areas that fit the Monarch migration pattern. Preston said the information can help boost their conservation efforts across the entire continent.

Part of The Monarch Joint Venture includes sources to rebuild habitat.

“That is really one of the most important things that we can do to help monarchs and to help the rest of our environment as well,” Preston said.

Information about participating in the blitz can be found online as well as resources for restoring Monarch habitat.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in both radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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    DEBRA KIRVEN

    July 30, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    The headline is incorrect – this is not to “keep the Monarach butterfly population IN CHECK” but to determine if the population is still in decline. Very misleading.

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