Monarch migration fluttering across Ohio

Oct 19, 2022 | Ottawa Outdoors | 0 comments

Monarch butterflies are migrating right now through Northwest Ohio and Ottawa County on their way to wintering grounds in Mexico. (Ohio Division of Wildlife)

Eastern monarch butterflies are now flying through Northwest Ohio and Ottawa County on their way from summer breeding areas to overwintering sites in Mexico, according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Monarchs may travel 50 to 100 miles per day, making this one of the most impressive migrations in the animal kingdom.

The journey may take them thousands of miles before they reach their destination. Migrating monarchs rely on adequate food resources along their journey. Native flowers provide monarchs with the fuel needed to reach overwintering areas.

Look for monarchs in the coming weeks in forests, fields, gardens, and waterways as they migrate through Ohio. Migrants may travel individually or in groups.

Monarch butterflies are in decline across their range, as are many other pollinating insects, due primarily to the loss of prairie and grassland habitat. One of the most important ways to help declining butterflies and other pollinating insects is by conserving tracts of unmown grasslands.

The Division of Wildlife manages habitat on many of Ohio’s state wildlife areas to provide these grasslands that provide nectar producing plants.

You can play a role in supporting monarchs by planting milkweed. Milkweed is the sole host plant for monarchs and is beneficial at every stage of the insect’s life cycle.

Early fall is a great time to gather milkweed pods from the landscape and plant the seeds to add valuable habitat for monarchs. The Monarch Joint Venture, an organization dedicated to conserving monarchs, provides guidelines for collecting and planting milkweed pods.

Planting pollinator gardens is a gratifying way to help wildlife, and impacts are easily enjoyed by seeing butterflies and other pollinators move from plant to plant.

Browse the free Backyards for Butterflies or Milkweeds and Monarchs publications for help choosing what to plant. Publications such as these and the free field guide series are made possible in part by funds generated through donations as well as license and permit sales.

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