It is prime Monarch butterfly time in Saskatchewan

It is prime Monarch butterfly time in Saskatchewan

The movement of the majestic Monarch butterfly represents the longest and largest insect migration in North America, according to Nature Saskatchewan.

Part of that long, arduous journey includes this province, and now is prime time if you want to see one.

"Millions of these butterflies, every year, somehow fly south up to 5,000 kilometers. "It's somewhat mind boggling when you think of a Monarch being born halfway through migration, transforming from a caterpillar to a butterfly, and then simply knowing which direction to fly," said Ashley Fortney, Habitat Stewardship Coordinator with the Stewards of Saskatchewan programs.

The Monarchs overwinter in Mexico and California before the Eastern population makes their way north in a trip that extends into the southern portion of our province in mid to late summer. The Saskatchewan butterflies are the final generation involved in the migration, which requires 3 to 4 generations.

Help Monarchs with Milkweed

The Monarch's numbers are dropping by as much as 90 per cent with loss of habitat.

Nature Saskatchewan is suggesting that you can help by planting Milkweed.

"Even in your own backyard," Fortney said, "it is very important that this plant is available to the Monarchs."

The group is also asking people to report Monarch sightings by calling Nature Saskatchewan's toll-free line at 1-800-667-HOOT (4668).

Reporting Monarchs helps aid research and conservation efforts.