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Butterfly in the sky, USDA research helps population rise

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WASHINGTON (WLNS) – June is national pollinator month and the United States Department of Agriculture is researching ways improve butterfly habitats.

Many butterfly species are nearing threatened or endangered levels because plants for adults as well as host plants for caterpillars are less available, according to the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service.

One of the most iconic insects in North America, the Monarch butterfly population has dramatically decreased since the 1980s because of the decline in milkweed plants which are the only plant adults will lay eggs because it is the only food source for developing larvae.

The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service has multiple programs to study conservation efforts that benefit pollinators including butterflies and honeybees.

Plant Materials Centers are actively supporting the creation and management of pollinator habitats as well as useful tools that help with butterfly conservation.

Beyond studies, research, and habitat management, as we continue through national pollinator month enjoy the blooming flowers and floating butterflies in your community.

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