Red Dirt Diaries: OK Tribes Banding Together To Save Monarch Butterfly Habitats

Friday, May 13th 2016, 6:14 pm
By: Karl Torp

Several tribes in Oklahoma are now trying to save the beautiful monarch butterfly.

This week, volunteers planted 2,500 milkweed plants at the Citizen Potowatomi Nation Eagle Aviary in Shawnee.

“It’s the only plant that butterflies can lay its eggs on,” said Kelli Mosteller with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center.

All seven tribes took home milkweed to plant, and more goes into the ground next.

A federal grant helped pay for the plants.

Over the years, the monarch butterflies native lands have dwindled due to growing cities and increased farming.

“The monarch is an iconic species,” said University of Kansas Professor Chip Taylor, who helped secure the grant.

“Here’s a species that migrates across a continent,” added Taylor.

“My goal is in the spring and fall, to be able to have younger tribal members stand in our yards and see hundreds of Monarchs as they travel through,” said Mosteller.