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The good news about the monarchs is that they are a beloved bug. Kids in classrooms nationwide capture the caterpillars and watch them transform into a chrysalis and eventually a monarch, learning all about life cycles along the way.

Increases in the area occupied at the overwintering sites are encouraging, but researchers continue to keep an eye on breeding habitats—milkweed restoration from Texas to Minnesota is key.

A recent study indicates that people would be willing to donate or buy nectar plants and milkweed to help preserve the monarchs’ habitat in their non-wintering locations. The willingness of Americans to buy nectar plants and milkweed could potentially be a multimillion dollar industry. Diffendorfer and others (2014) estimated that Americans are collectively willing to pay $933 million for nectar plants and $473 million for milkweed. That seems like a good start for the monarchs on their long journeys.


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Monarch butterfly in Angangueo, Michoacan, Tomas Castelazo/Wikimedia Commons


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