Millions of monarch butterflies migrate from the United States and Canada to the mountains in central Mexico each fall. Monarchs fly 2,500 miles in total and up to 100 miles per day. They overwinter in the oyamel fir forests of Mexico and begin the journey back in the spring. The mountainous hillsides and oyamel forest provide a microclimate that is ideal for the butterflies. During the winter, monarchs cluster together to stay warm.
Unfortunately, the numbers of monarchs are declining due to habitat loss and other ecological problems, like climate change. They are at risk of serious population loss to extinction. One way that GCKY clubs are combating this decline is by establishing monarch waystations. Waystations are places that provide habitat for monarchs where they can eat, breed, and rest.
The University of Kansas registers Monarch Waystations throughout the United States, and many of GCKY clubs have registered waystations. You will find Monarch Waystations in Flemingsburg, Millersburg, Danville, and Franklin – to name just a few.
Becoming a registered waystation means providing host plants (various milkweeds), annual and perennial nectar plants, and engaging in sustainable management practices. GCKY encourages all clubs to consider establishing monarch waystations in their communities.