Monarch populations are declining due to a number of threats such as loss of habitat, pesticides, predators and climate change. The two easiest ways to help monarchs are to plant milkweeds to support the egg and caterpillar stages of monarchs, and plant flowers or flowering trees and shrubs to provide nectar for adult butterflies. Below are resources to help monarchs at every stage, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis and butterfly.
- US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Save the Monarch, resources organized by what individuals, communities, agriculture and right-of-way managers can do.
- Journey North, a national website for reporting and tracking migrations including monarchs.
- Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Monarch butterfly programming and resources.
- Michigan Farm Bureau’s policy and practice discussion about pollinators and agriculture.
- Farm Service Agency’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for pollinator habitat. Michigan has a specific CRP Practice for Pollinators.
- MSU Extension’s How to protect and increase pollinators in your landscape offers practices to protect all pollinators including practices useful for greenhouse and nursery production.
For Gardeners & Landscapers
- MSU Extension’s Smart Gardening to Support Monarchs explains what to plant to support monarchs at all life stages (http://bit.ly/Garden4monarchs).
- MSU Extension’s How to Collect and Grow Milkweeds to Help Monarchs and Other Pollinators (http://bit.ly/GrowMilkweeds).
- MSU Extension’s Black and Pale Swallow-Worts: These milkweed family members are toxic to monarchs. Swallow-worts are an invasive plant species that kill monarch caterpillars, are toxic to deer and livestock, and choke out more desirable plant species.
- MSU Extension’s How to protect and increase pollinators in your landscape offers practices to protect all pollinators including a table of plants preferred by butterflies for nectar.
For K-12 Students & Teachers
Curricula, lesson plans
- Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies’ Teaching about the Magnificent Monarch: Resource Recommendations for Conservation Educators
- US Forest Services's Monarch Education
- The University of Minnesota's Monarch Lab Curricula
- LEGO and National Wildlife Foundation's Monarch Mission Lessons curriculum
- Journey North Teaching Resources
- US Fish and Wildlife Services's Pollinator Education and Outreach Materials
- Monarch Live
- Pollinator Live
- The University of Minnesota's Monarch Lab: Gardening for Monarchs
- US Fish and Wildlife Service's Schoolyard Habitat Project Guide
- Monarch Joint Venture's Schoolyard Butterfly Gardens
- National Wildlife Foundation's Eco-Schools
- MSU Extension's Smart Gardening to support monarchs
- National Wildlife Federation Native Plant Finder
- National Wildlife Federation – small-scale plantings for Washtenaw County under development
- MSU Extension’s Native Plants and Ecosystems Services
- Regional plant lists for Lower and Upper Peninsulas of Michigan
- Plant selection tool nearing completion
- Michigan Department of Natural Resources – plant list under development