The Friends of Times Beach Nature Preserve
Status: Once common, but now vanishing.
This butterfly migrates through the Buffalo waterfront and all of WNY in the spring and fall. The Monarch depends exclusively on the host plant Milkweed for food for its larvae (caterpillars). Many lay their eggs on common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) and Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnate). We are constantly increasing the presence of milkweed at Times Beach. Autumn migrants come across Lake Erie or the Niagara River and stage at Times Beach and other waterfront locations, sipping nectar when they can find it and then take off for the 2,000 mile migration to Mexico.
As recently as 2006 Monarch Butterflies collected in the thousands at Times Beach as they paused to rest from their journey across Lake Erie and the Niagara River. After sipping nectar from plants they would once again take to the air on their long migration to a mountain top in Mexico.
The past few years have witnessed a drastic decline in Monarch butterfly populations. The National Resource Defense Council, The Center for Biological Diversity, The Xerces Society, The National Wildlife Federation, and other organizations have estimated a 90% decline in Monarch population.
In 2013 there were no reports of Monarch Butterflies at Times Beach Nature Preserve. 2014 brought a slight resurgence and some late september days observers counted 10-20 individuals.
In January of 2015 the US Fish and Wildlife Service reacted to a petition by Xerces, the Center for Food Safety, the Center for Biologiical Diversity, and Monarch conservationist Lincoln Brower by agreeing to evaluate whether or not the Monarch Butterfly should be placed on the Endangered Species List
Habitat loss including the loss of Milkweed across the migration range, and agricultural and gardening practices that promote the use of pesticides, especially gyphosate (Round-up) have been implicated in the collapse of Monarch butterfly populations.
Read more here
“When species like Monarch butterflies are in trouble, that means we’re all in trouble, because they’re leading indicators of the health of the planet,”
Xerces Society Report "Monarch Butterflies in North America Found to be Vulnerable to Extinction
Center for Food Safety
National Wildlife Federation
Six Ways to Save Monarchs
Center For Food Safety Report- Monarchs in Peril
Center for Biological Diversity Updates
This is the original Xerces, CFS/CBD/ Lincoln Brower Petition: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/invertebrates/pdfs/Monarch_ESA_Petition.pdf
USFWS site: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/news/764.html
Direct comment USFWS: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FWS-R3-ES-2014-0056-0001
USFWS Docket Folder Summary: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FWS-R3-ES-2014-0056
Special Report by the Endangered Species Coalition
VANISHING Ten American Species Our Children May Never See
Monarch World Heritage Biosphere Reserve Mexico
We are very pleased to become friends with the Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm located in Clarence New York. They have provided the Friends of Times Beach with education and real living Monarch adults and caterpillars during the summer 2015 Season. To learn more about them, please visit their Facebook page by clicking on the icon above!
Monarch Buttterfly Release at Times Beach August 5, 2015, in memory of MaryAnne Coyle.