Endangered monarch butterflies focus of Wednesday seminar
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By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
Conservationist Cathy Downs will discuss the endangered state of monarch butterflies in Texas at a free workshop Wednesday.
The seminar runs from 8:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday at Amarillo Botanical Gardens, 1400 Streit Drive.
Downs is a conservation specialist with Monarch Watch, a national group that keeps track and onitors the monarch population, said Angie Hanna, the gardens' volunteer coordinator and chair of the seminar.
The butterflies migrate north from Mexico during the spring after hibernating for the winter in the warmer climes. An estimated 910 million monarchs migrated east in 1996, according to an article Hanna wrote on her website, highplainsgardening.com. But the number has dropped steadily — more than 90 percent since 1975.
Insecticides, the harvesting of forests and declines in necar-producing plants and milkweeds, from which the butterflies can feed, appear to be to blame, Hanna said.
Downs will offer tips for gardeners on how to garden to provide better nectar and otherwise aid monarchs during their migration, Hanna said.
Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. Reservations closed Sunday, but walk-up registration is still encouraged, Hanna said.