Connemara launches campaign to protect Monarchs, bees and other pollinators

Connemara Meadow Monarch butterflyWith support of a grant from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Connemara has joined the nationwide effort to protect and restore habitats for the Monarch butterfly, American bumblebee and other pollinators critical to our way of life.

Restoration efforts are under way in the Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve that focus on increasing the amount of flower and grass habitat important for conservation of the Monarchs and native bees.  Funds from the grant are also being used to support educational efforts at the Meadow such as  interpretive signs and educational nature walks.

Texas is playing a critical role in conservation efforts aimed at Monarch conservation given its strategic position along the species’ migratory pathway in the spring and fall when they come through North Texas. In addition, 30 native pollinator/ flower-visiting species (bees, butterflies and moths) are designated as Species of Greatest Conservation Need by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. All are dependent upon similar landscape habitat such as is being restored in the Meadow.

Connemara Meadow Monarch Waystation

The Connemara Meadow has been recognized as a Monarch Waystation.

 The disappearing Monarch

Twenty years ago, 1 billion Monarch butterflies passed through Texas on their way to overwinter in Mexico and on their way back each spring. Today, the number of butterflies making the journey has dropped by 90 percent to around 35 million. For that reason scientists and conservation leaders such as Connemara have joined together in an effort to save this important, iconic creature.

Connemara Meadow Monarch irrigsation

Connemara has created a special irrigation system to supply the expanding pollinator habitats.

Facts and Figures

  • Monarchs lay their eggs on milkweed plants. Young caterpillars feed on milkweed leaves, then make a chrysalis in which to morph from caterpillar to butterfly.
  • An adult Monarch feeds on the nectar of wild flowers to fuel their 2,500-mile journey from North America to Mexico.
  • Each year monarchs migrate through Texas to reach overwintering sites in the mountains of Mexico.
  • Monarchs have lost habitat to human development and farming, but we can work to replace it.
  • Pesticides, deforestation in Mexico, climate change and disease also threaten Monarch populations.
  • Look for Monarchs in the Connemara Meadow during October on their journey south and in April on their journey north.

Texas Parks & Wildlife License Plate

Show Your Support

You can show your support for Texas native non-game wildlife by putting a Horned Lizard, Hummingbird or Rattlesnake plate on your vehicle, trailer or motorcycle and help conserve wildlife diversity by funding a vast array of projects that help protect native species and their habitats.

Beneficiaries include: Horned Lizard (the state’s official reptile), the Texas Bumblebee, Ocelot, Attwater’s Greater Prairie-Chicken, Red Wolf, the Whooping Crane, the Alligator Snapping Turtle and an assortment of other mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants. All projects funded by this plate are used to implement the the Texas Wildlife Action Plan.  Purchase your own Horned Lizard License Plate online: ConservationPlate.Org

Texas Parks & Wildlife Connemara Conservancy

More information on protecting the pollinators

Click Here for more information from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

Click Here for our Protecting the Pollinators brochure.

Join The Effort

If you are interested in joint this important effort, send an email to Meadow Manager Bob Mione at meadowmanager@connemaraconservancy.org

 

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Site last updated October 18, 2020 @ 4:01 pm; This content last updated July 30, 2016 @ 1:57 pm