Monarch butterflies scarce this season | RecordCourier.com

Monarch butterflies scarce this season

All the monarch butterflies were in pictures at a workshop on the famous flutterers in Genoa on Saturday.

A score of people attended the event at Whit Hall on the Riverfork Ranch, but the only monarchs in evidence were in pictures.

“This is the second full house this year,” said River Fork Ranch Preserve Manager Lori Leonard. “There’s a lot of interest in the workshops both for the pollinators, as well as what plants people can plant and learning a little more about the lifecycle of the monarch butterfly.”

The news isn’t particularly good for the monarchs, whose numbers appear to be down.

“There’s been a pretty sharp decline,” Leonard said. “They’re not sure what the problems are. There are multiple factors influencing the populations. The butterfly weed is the only plant the caterpillar feeds on. If those plants are being killed, there’s not that source of food.”

Leonard said that the Riverfork Ranch has planted different types of native milkweed.

“We call them waystations where we have the host plants, blooming plants for adults and water,” she said.

Most monarchs from Nevada migrate to the California coast, making them a distinct population from those who range from Canada to Mexico.

She said anyone interested in putting in native Nevada plants can go through the Washoe State Tree Nursery.

“It’s fun to see the interest and concern from the community here,” Leonard said. “It’s great to have some native options available.”

The Washoe State Tree Nursery is located at 885 Eastlake Blvd., in Washoe Valley. It’s open 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Oct. 12.