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Monarchy In Decline – Fewer Butterflies Expected At St. Marks Festival

Don Sutherland

The St. Marks Wildlife Refuge’s Monarch Butterfly festival is scheduled for this weekend. But not many butterflies are expected to attend.

Experts say a diminishing habitat and climate change have led to a smaller monarch population that migrates later so even though organizers have pushed the festival’s date back, Education Specialist Lori Nicholson says not many Monarchs are likely to be there.

“I haven’t been down today and it was really cool last night so we may have had some more arrive last night and yesterday evening, but we have only been having one or two on the days the biologists go out to tag the butterflies and look for them,” Nicholson says

Nicholson says the insects are heading for the endangered species list. She says people can help by planting nectar plants and Milkweed and by avoiding using pesticides. She says this weekend’s festival will help raise awareness and be packed with educational family fun.