1 Tahrcountry Musings: The butterfly highway of North Carolina

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The butterfly highway of North Carolina

The numbers of Monarch butterfly have taken a dip in recent years.  Disappearance of native perennials is one of the main reasons for the downswing. The butterfly highway of North Carolina meant to ensure connectivity has gathered lot of international attention recently. The innovative scheme is the brain child of Angel Hjarding who is earning a doctoral degree in geography at UNC Charlotte. Biodiversity monitoring is part of her research.
The plight of   Monarch butterfly came to the attention of Hjarding during the course of her monitoring. Monarch butterfly makes its way from North America to Central Mexico and back again each year. North Carolina is a prime area of the butterfly’s route.
Hjarding aims to restore native pollinator habitats to areas impacted by urbanization.  Community gardens, backyard gardens, public spaces and park fragments are planned to act as pollinator and wildlife habitats.   No garden is too small to make an impact. Planting milkweed is encouraged to help the monarchs. It is the only plant they will use to lay their eggs. Asters, phlox, tick seed and native honeysuckle complement the efforts. Trees are also important. Hjarding says Oak trees host more caterpillars than any other plant. What is good for butterflies is also good for bees, birds and other wildlife.
Well done Angel Hjarding . We salute you

Log on to http://www.butterflyhighway.org/ for more information.

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