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Local forum to teach monarch conservation

Posted: March 22, 2018

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (March 20, 2018) — Declining monarch butterfly populations have prompted many national organizations, cities and concerned citizens to pledge to save the monarch by increasing its habitat and educating others about how they can make a difference.

A Monarch Forum, sponsored by the Bartlesville Mayors for Monarchs and the Bartlesville Council of Garden Clubs, will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. April 12 at the Bartlesville Public Library. Two speakers will educate the public on the many risks facing monarchs today, and how to create a garden that will help perpetuate monarchs as well as other butterflies. Networking and viewing table exhibits begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the presentation at 7 p.m.

Dr. Kristen Baum, professor at the Department of Integrative Biology at Oklahoma State University, will talk about monarch butterfly research and how people can help. She has been studying pollinators in the southern Great Plains for more than 20 years. Her current research focuses on the effects of land use and management practices on pollinators, including monarch butterflies, native bees and honey bees.

Susan Albert, local butterfly enthusiast and member of the Washington County Master Gardener Association, will present how to attract butterflies to one’s own yard by creating habitat filled with specific food plants and nectar plants for a variety of butterflies, including the monarch. Learn how to provide the essential plants necessary to sustain monarchs on their journey north in the spring and south in the fall.

Monarch Watch, an educational outreach based at the University of Kansas, posted the recent Monarch Population Status from World Wildlife Fund Mexico that indicated a 14.77 percent decrease in overwintering monarch populations from the previous season. Factors contributing to the decline include breeding and overwintering habitat loss, climate change, pesticides and natural enemies.

Okies for Monarchs has more information on statewide projects at okiesformonarchs.org.

Locally, the Mayors for Monarchs, in partnership with the City of Bartlesville, leads the effort to spread the word about how residents can help. For more information, contact Laws at 918-213-5519.

Local forum to teach monarch conservation  News Photo - Bartlesville, Oklahoma