Nymphalidae Danaus plexippus Monarch butterfly St Marks National Wildlife Reserve Florida Americana Collection

Monarch butterfly – Americana Collection

“Urban and suburban development is eliminating monarch habitat by supplanting agricultural landscapes where an estimated 90% of milkweeds occur. The increasing use of herbicides in agriculture is also leading to milkweed loss. The widespread use of genetically modified crops, such as herbicide-resistant corn and soybeans, exacerbates the problem because it enables growers to indiscriminately spray their fields with herbicides rather than tilling to control weeds. The organization Monarch Watch estimates that the adoption of genetically modified crops has led to the loss of more than 80 million acres of monarch habitat. Along roadsides, the ubiquitous use of herbicides and frequent mowing are also killing milkweeds and hence eliminating vital monarch habitat.”1
This Monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus is feeding on a Christmasberry Lycium carolinianum near the shoreline of St Marks National Wildlife Reserve in Florida.

camera: Nikon D500 | lens: AF Nikkor VR 300mm f/2.8G IF-ED with Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC14E III
focal length: 420mm | exposure: f/5.6 – 1/6400 – ISO 500

1Harvey, Rebecca G, et al. “Native Habitats for Monarch Butterflies in South Florida.” Native Habitats for Monarch Butterflies in South Florida, IFAS Extension University of Florida, June 2018, edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/UW/UW31100.pdf.