BLUE ASH, Ohio — A nationwide effort to help save threatened monarch butterflies is expanding here in the Buckeye state.
“They’ve had a 90% decline in Monarch population over the last 20 years,” Superintendent Scott Kincaid said.
There are two areas on the Blue Ash Golf Course that are part of the project: between the 1st and 18th hole and behind the 8th green. Across town, in Addyston on Cincinnati’s West Side, you find butterfly expert John Klein who’s been tagging Monarchs for 40 years.
“I’ve tagged probably several thousand Monarchs over the last 40 years and have only had five recaptures,” Klein said. “And only one of those was found in Mexico.”
Klein said the Super Generation of Monarchs will travel south from Canada to Mexico through the end of the summer.
But to make their journey they need one specific food for their larvae to survive — milkweed.
“Because of habitat loss and the lack of milkweed plants for different reasons, it’s important for anyone that has any kind of property to plant as many milkweed plants as possible,” Klein said.
Klein said conservation areas like this one and the one in Blue Ash are so important because it helps the North American Monarch on its journey.
“They’re one of our most beautiful and most recognizable butterflies we have in Ohio and throughout the Midwest,” Klein said. “No other invertebrate migrates as far as a Monarch butterfly does.”
Kincaid said it only took a little bit of effort to make the conservation area happen. So far he’s seeing Monarchs return to the course.
“It’s pretty impressive that they took to it this quick,” Kincaid said. “We just seeded it last year and it’s just been a great success for us.”
For more information on the Monarchs in the Rough campaign, visit the website.