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Game and Parks seeks public’s help in tracking monarch habitat

LINCOLN – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission needs the public’s help in documenting new and existing habitat for monarch butterflies.

The public is encouraged to enter plantings of milkweed into the Monarch Tracker, which is available on the Game and Parks website. Doing so will help Game and Parks identify areas where milkweed and other pollinator-friendly flora can be planted, restored or enhanced in the next several years.

Monarch populations are in serious decline, mostly because of loss of milkweed and habitat. The monarch’s caterpillar stage feeds only on milkweed plants, while as adults they feed on many flowering plants.

“Current research suggests that in order to prevent further declines of the monarch, more than a billion milkweed plants and millions of acres containing diverse pollinator-friendly plants must be added to the landscape across the Midwest,” said Kristal Stoner, Game and Parks’ wildlife diversity program manager.

The public is urged to consider planting areas of pasture, farm or backyard where milkweed and other flowers can thrive for monarchs and other pollinators. Anyone who has recently created pollinator-friendly habitat can enter the information into the Milkweed Tracker.

To learn more about the Milkweed Tracker, to enter planted habitat, or to find information on what to plant, visit: OutdoorNebraska.gov/MilkweedTracker.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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