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Monarch Butterflies Under Siege

In addition to habitat issues and the increasingly severe weather, such as that which the butterflies are facing this year, there has also been a significant increase of planting corn and soybean crops that are genetically engineered to be herbicide-resistant. This allows farmers to use weed killer without hurting the crops, but it also means that little of the monarch’s beloved milkweed is left. No milkweed means no place for the butterflies to breed along the way, a crucial step, obviously, in the survival of the species.

Visit to find out what you can do to help. For more ways to help butterflies see First Aid for Butterflies, and How to Make Butterfly Food.

Read more: Behavior & Communication, Conservation, Lawns & Gardens, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, News & Issues

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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4:03PM PST on Jan 27, 2012


5:42PM PDT on Jun 2, 2011

Milkweed is a noxious weed isn't it? Meaning that it is to be eradicated wherever it is seen.
A shame the legislation stating that didn't think about monarch butterflies.

1:17AM PST on Dec 16, 2010

The life cycle of Monarch Butterflies includes a change of form called complete metamorphosis. The monarch goes through four radically different stages. The four stages of the monarch butterfly life cycle are the egg, the larvae, the pupa, and the adult butterfly. The eggs are laid by the females during spring and summer breeding months.The eggs hatch or after the four days, revealing worm like larvae, the caterpillars. In the pupa or chrysalis stage, the caterpillar spins a silk pad on a twig, leaf, etc and hangs from this pad by its last pair of prolegs.

3:33PM PDT on Oct 11, 2010

I have raised Monarchs in the past-- and one fall a scientist "tagged" 13 of them before they migrated. Their demise is a great loss to the world-- they are part of the inticate life web. Good article.

10:56PM PDT on Jun 27, 2010


11:09AM PDT on Jun 13, 2010

I sure hope we can do something to help these sweet, beautiful creatures. I love butterflies and where we live we get irrigation and we have seen quite a few monarchs! I get wide-eyed excited with each one I see. SAVE THE BUTTERFLIES!!!

10:35PM PDT on Jun 11, 2010

aww thats a shame

12:49PM PDT on Jun 8, 2010

Destroying the forests & wildlife habitats make room for the drug industry. Much for lucrative. Fools!

6:56AM PDT on Jun 8, 2010

Next time spell "siege" correctly kindly

7:49PM PDT on May 29, 2010

How much of the earth's beauty will have to be destroyed before people start to care? It is truly a shame.

Would anybody happen to know who to contact about the illegal logging? Maybe a petition could be started for boycotting travel or something else that would motivate a responsible parties to put an end to it.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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