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Get educated on Monarch Butterflies

Central Lake Ontario Conservation is holding an educational interactive display on Monarch butterflies at the Oshawa Public Library McLaughlin Branch until July 22. (Photo courtesy of Kenneth Dwain Harrelson/Wikipedia)

Central Lake Ontario Conservation (CLOCA) is looking to educate the public on the concerning state of the Monarch butterfly.

CLOCA will be hosting an interactive display at the Oshawa Public Library McLaughlin Branch (65 Bagot Street)  until July 22.

The display will include eggs, and live caterpillars raised for release into the wild.
CLOCA officials say some onlookers may even be lucky enough to see a monarch butterfly emerge from its chrysalis.

However, library visitors can be rest assured they will have a chance to get up close and personal with the various life stages of the butterflies.

“Our goal for the program is to inspire watershed residents to create monarch butterfly habitats and become citizen scientists through a variety of monitoring programs that report on monarch activities in Ontario,” says Cathy Grant, education instructor for CLOCA.

One such program is Mission Monarch, which engages people across North America to better understand the reproductive success of the butterfly.

More information can be found at http://www.mission-monarch.org/

“All you have to do is find milkweed in your community, verify the presence of monarchs, write your observations, sign up and send your data,” Grant adds.

One of the challenges facing Monarch butterflies when they migrate to and from Mexico each year is not enough milkweed plants.

The butterfly will only lay its eggs on this plant, and if it’s not available, they cannot successfully reproduce.

Monarch butterflies have been labeled as a species of special concern by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry due to an overall population decline and loss of habitat.

This means while it is not threatened or endangered, it could become so soon due to a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.

Residents are encouraged to plant milkweed in their gardens to help rejuvenate the species.

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