We often watch for stop-over Monarch butterflies as they migrate south in August – October in this region. They show us that animals (and plants) need a suitable place to live.
In our Northern Plains location of the middle-United States Monarch flyway to Mexico, September is a good month for Monarch sightings. Native Agastache is in full bloom about then—along with other native plants in flower and everyone’s garden zinnia.
Helping all citizens see the need for conservation through Monarchs is part of the Journey North group at the arboretum at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They track the seasons and migrations of wildlife to “foster scientific understanding, environmental awareness, and land ethic.” They tabulate sightings of adult Monarchs down the Central Flyway, including this region of the country.
While they have yet to post the count of Monarchs in Mexico from Fall 2022 (as of November 8th), the number of sightings (and possibly fewer people reporting) is much lower than Monarch sightings along the Eastern Flyway or the California coast. These sightings may be viewed on their continental United States maps at www.journeynorth.org. The pattern of lower sightings in the middle flyway was also reported last year.
Our President Biden set a national goal after his inauguration in 2020 toward “conserving at least thirty percent of our lands and waters by 2030.”
Conservation may bring our country together to define and engage in how this is achieved. Parks and sanctuaries have been leading conservation in the past. But we all need clean drinking water to preserve our wildlife habitat and ecosystem diversity and trap carbon. Further information is featured in the September National Geographic magazine, available for browsing at the Yankton Community Library.
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