San Antonio: Champion City of the Monarch Butterfly

Nathan Riggs

Pledged to become a champion for monarch butterflies, San Antonio has taken the lead in becoming a place where monarchs can live, breed and feed along their migration path from Mexico to the U.S. in late spring and then back to Mexico in mid-fall.

In December 2015, the National Wildlife Federation named San Antonio the first city in the US as a Monarch Champion after Mayor Ivy Taylor signed the NWF’s Mayor’s Monarch Pledge. What’s so amazing about the Mayor’s pledge is that San Antonio has taken the lead and agreed to follow all 24 recommendations on the list, prompting the NWF leadership to meet and create a brand new category called “Monarch Champion.”

Among the list of 24 recommendations are:

  • planting native milkweed gardens
  • not mowing native areas where milkweeds grow on their own
  • developing community education programs
  • neighborhood challenges to see who can attract more monarchs

The full list of 24 recommendations and action items can be found on the NWF website.

While this pledge sounds like just a neat thing to add to San Antonio’s allure as a wonderful place to live and visit, it represents a real commitment on behalf of city leaders to make San Antonio a place where monarchs can live, breed and feed along their migration path from Mexico to the US in late spring and then back to Mexico in mid-fall.

Monarch populations have declined in some areas by as much as 80 percent due to loss of food sources for both adult butterflies and the caterpillars. It’s important to provide them with the proper food along their journey.

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