Greater Southwest Region Works with its Partners to Save the Monarch Butterfly

A monarch egg on milkweed at the Fort Worth Federal Center.
A monarch egg on milkweed at the Fort Worth Federal Center.

Monarch butterflies are among many of nature’s beautiful creatures. The eastern population, which includes Texas, has approximately 95% of monarchs. Consistent with President Obama’s Presidential Memorandum for Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, Greater Southwest Region’s Fort Worth Federal Center, which is in one of the zones in the monarch’s migration path, recently joined the movement to conserve the butterfly’s ecology. Through its partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT), the FWFC identified “no mow” zone areas as a part of its pollinator initiative. This movement is a huge step toward cultivating a pollinator friendly environment on federal property. The FWFC will also begin growing milk weed on the property this fall; a plant that is critical to the monarch butterfly’s migration.

During a recent site inspection, NRCS witnessed a butterfly reproduction in process. This fascinating discovery proves the “no mow” zones and other efforts are effective. Texas is crucial to the monarch habitat for two periods of the year. In March-April, the returning females get nectar from wildflowers and lay their eggs on milkweed, the only food plant which can support their caterpillars. Texas becomes important again in September-October, when migrating monarchs stop to refuel on wildflower nectar before their long slumber in Mexico.

Through partnership like the one NRCS and BRIT, GSA is making a more sustainable government so future generations can enjoy the beautiful gifts nature provides.

Find out more information on the conservation and the ecology of the monarch butterfly by visiting here.