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The Arduous Life of Monarch Butterflies

Did you know that it takes three generations of monarch butterflies to get from Wisconsin to Mexico in a year? It's incredible how long these little butterflies can fly!

The adult monarchs do not care for their babies after they give birth. They give birth on the milkweed plant and the newborn caterpillars survive on their own. After the parents die, the newborn butterflies continue their journey to Mexico. The lifespan of these monarchs is from two to six weeks.

The monarch butterflies stay in Wisconsin for spring and summer. Afterwards, they start their journey to Mexico for the winter to find warmth. They are in Mexico from November to March just in time for Dia de los Muertos.

When butterflies are healthy, they are the perfect prey for predators such as bats and birds. The butterflies and the caterpillars eat the milkweed they are hatched on. Farmers use herbicide for getting rid of unwanted weeds such as milkweeds. This is causing butterflies, especially monarchs, not to have places to lay their eggs or food for the caterpillars to eat.

To protect the monarchs and other creatures, we should try to find another way to get rid of unwanted plants. These pollinators are important to our ecosystem, so it is important to protect them.

[Sources: monarchjointventure.com; Wausau Daily Herald; Wisconsinpollinators.com]

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