National Geographic / @natgeo
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Image by @joelsartore | On this #pollinatormonday we are celebrating the intrigue of the great monarch migration, one of the most spectacular, beautiful, and mysterious of the world’s natural phenomena. Each March and April, millions of monarchs arrive in the southern states of the U.S. from the warmth of Mexico, where they stay during the winter. The monarch lays its eggs on milkweed plants as it moves northward, and the the adults that hatch will continue the migration. It takes 2-3 generations for these butterflies to make it to the northern states and southern canada before they return in the fall to their wintering sites in October. Many people visit these sites in Mexico to experience the beauty of the fields of monarchs, providing ecotourism dollars to Mexico, and awareness of the migration to the world. Monarchs that survive the fall migration, the 4-month overwintering period, and the migration northward, may live up to 9 months. Despite their amazing endurance over thousands of years, today the monarch population is dwindling each year. We may lose the migration within five years if we don’t act fast. The reason for this decline is because there are fewer milkweed plants (the only plant upon which they lay their eggs) available to monarchs as a result of changes in agriculture, excessive mowing, and the use of pesticides and herbicides. Fortunately, if we all pitch in, we can reverse this downward trend and can keep monarchs flying. Help the monarch by planting your milkweed today. . For a complete interactive how-to guide on ordering, planting, and caring for your milkweed, click the link in my bio (@joelsartore). Don’t forget to post a picture with the hashtag #pollinatorhero to show us how you’re helping to #SaveTogether! . . #monarchs #savethebutterflies #pollinatorgardens #conservation #animalconservation #wildlifeconservation #migration #mexico #natgeo #naturephotography #monarch #wildlife

about 22 hours ago