Presented by Dr. Chip Taylor, Founder and Director, Monarch Watch. March 23, 2016.
As milkweed, the sole host plant for monarch butterflies, has diminished across the landscape, so have population numbers for the iconic butterfly. A broad scale effort involving many partners is needed to restore this habitat across North America to support monarchs and other wildlife. A key step in this process is increasing the availability of native milkweed plant materials, including seeds and plugs. In this webinar you will learn about regional native milkweed plant material needs, seed collection, processing, storage, stratification, germination, transplantation to plug cell, growing out, control of pests with biological control methods, site preparation, planting, watering and monitoring to determine survival rates. From backyard gardeners to large scale native plant producers, everyone has a role to play in supporting monarch habitat across North America. The focus of this webinar will be producing milkweed host plants, but other native nectar plants are also essential in supporting the monarch migration.
Dr. Chip Taylor has a broad background in insect ecology. Starting in 1974, he established research sites and directed students studying Neotropical African honey bees in French Guiana, Venezuela, and Mexico. In 1992, Taylor founded Monarch Watch, an outreach program focused on education, research and conservation relative to monarch butterflies. Since then, the program has enlisted the help of volunteers to tag monarchs during the fall migration. This program has produced many new insights into the dynamics of the monarch migration. In 2005 Monarch Watch created the Monarch Waystation program, in recognition that habitats for monarchs are declining at a rate of 6,000 acres a day in the United States. The goal of this program is to inspire the public, schools and others to create habitats for monarch butterflies and to assist Monarch Watch in educating the public about the decline in resources for monarchs, pollinators and all wildlife that share the same habitats.