The public can learn how to successfully raise Monarch butterfly caterpillars and help restore a population of butterflies that is quickly disappearing from the landscape at an upcoming Jamestown Audubon Center and Sanctuary workshop.
From 7-9 p.m. Thursday, July 24, the Audubon Center and Sanctuary is presenting a workshop on "Raising Monarchs: How You Can Help a Species in Decline."
Monarch butterflies virtually disappeared from this region last summer. Habitat destruction in the Midwest combined with droughts decimated the population, which has decreased 97 percent from what it was a decade ago.
“Raising Monarchs: How You Can Help a Species in Decline” is the subject of the Audubon Center and Sanctuary’s workshop on Thursday, July 24. Participants may be able to raise a butterfly for Audubon’s popular Monarch butterfly Festival in late August. Pictured is a Monarch butterfly caterpillar.
Monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars are eaten by many things in the wild, from ants to bugs to spiders. Only about six out of every 100 eggs laid in the wild survive to be butterflies. Carefully raising some eggs inside can help increase the Monarch butterfly population.
The Audubon class will show how and where to find Monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars, as well as how to raise them to adulthood. Depending on the local Monarch butterfly population and the success of Audubon's breeding program, participants may be able to take home and care for a caterpillar.
The workshop will be led by Jeff Tome, Audubon senior naturalist. Tome has been raising and caring for Monarch caterpillars for the last 10 years. An organizer of Audubon's Monarch Butterfly Festival, he puts a lot of time into Monarch butterfly raising through the summer months, hoping that successfully rearing Monarch butterflies will help restore their population.
The workshop will be at the Audubon Center & Sanctuary, 1600 Riverside Road, a quarter-mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren. Class size is limited. While geared to adults and older children, the program is available to all ages. Cost for the class is $16, $12 for Friends of the Nature Center and children 3 to 12, free for children 2 and under. Paid reservations are required by Monday, July 21, and can be made by calling 569-2345 or clicking through "Raising Monarchs" at www.jamestownaudubon.org.
Audubon education programs are paid for with support from the Carnahan Jackson Foundation, Jessie Smith Darrah Fund, Holmberg Foundation, Hultquist Foundation, Johnson Foundation and Lenna Foundation.
For more information on this and other Audubon opportunities, call 569-2345 or visit www.jamestownaudubon.org.