Safe migration journey

Courtesy of @lostfoundartny a highway road sign in Canada wishing monarch butterflies a safe migration south for the winter.

The annual migration of the Eastern monarch butterfly is one of the most impressive. Flying up to 2,500 miles from the US and Canada where they breed, down to the forests in Mexico where they hibernate, the monarch’s migratory pattern is the most highly evolved of any known species of their kind.

As is sadly so often the case, this grand migration is under threat. Climate change, coupled with deforestation in Mexico’s forests, the conversion of grassland to farmland, the continued use of herbicides and pesticides and subsequent reduction of Asclepias syriaca (milkweed), the plant in which the monarchs lay their eggs, is having a considerable impact on their migration.

Fare thee well, monarchs…

Perhaps as wildlife gardener, writer and author Kate Bradbury responded, “Can we do this in the UK? – ‘Welcome Home Swifts!’, ‘Fly well, cuckoos!’.”