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Fish & Wildlife | Environment | Oregon Field Guide

Monarchs And Milkweed



Producer: Vince Patton   Videographers: Nick Fisher, Todd Sonflieth, Michael Bendixen   Editor: Lisa Suinn-Kallem   Additional Photos & Video: Warren & Laurie Halsey, Stephanie Hazen, Jim & Bonnie Kiser, Vince Patton, Jialiang Gao, Dr. Pablo Jaramillo López-UNAM, México  Special Thanks: Stephanie Hazen, Chris Carvalho


Monarch butterflies lay their eggs exclusively on milkweed plants.

Monarch butterflies lay their eggs exclusively on milkweed plants.

Courtesy: Stephanie Hazen.

Monarch butterfly populations have declined 90 percent across the US. A key piece of their habitat has been wiped out by farms and urban sprawl.

Monarchs, when in their caterpillar stage, rely on milkweed for food. They also incorporate milkweed toxins making their own bodies taste terrible to birds, shielding them from being eaten.

Monarchs, when in their caterpillar stage, rely on milkweed for food. They also incorporate milkweed toxins making their own bodies taste terrible to birds, shielding them from being eaten.

Todd Sonflieth/OPB

Milkweed is the single most important plant for monarchs. It’s the only one they lay their eggs on and young caterpillars eat.

Jim Kiser checks on milkweed he planted at George Fox University in Newberg.

Jim Kiser checks on milkweed he planted at George Fox University in Newberg.

Michael Bendixen/OPB

People are encouraged to plant milkweed wherever they can to help monarchs along their long migration routes.
A monarch caterpillar and a monarch chrysallis side by side.

A monarch caterpillar and a monarch chrysallis side by side.

Nick Fisher/OPB

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Part of Episode

Pika, Monarchs & Milkweed and Invasive Species BBQ (2710)

Oregon Field Guide: Episode #2710
Most Recent Broadcast: February 11, 2016