Orleans Conservation Trust hosted a lecture May 2nd with Paul Rifkin, Kathy Koplik, and Vince Puleo, of the Monarch Project of Cape Cod. The lecture started off with a short video essay by Paul Rifkin that documented his trip to the breeding grounds of monarchs in Mexico. The number of butterflies fluttering around were staggering. Next, Kathy and Vince showed a short informational video explaining the life cycle and migration of monarchs, along with the importance of milkweed as a habitat for many species along with monarchs. Monarchs live and breed in the upper United States for the summer months, then make their way down to Mexico for the winter. The population lives there for many months, then slowly makes its way back north to breed and continue their journey.
Kathy and Vince then explained their propagation practices, growing monarchs from eggs to give to schools for educational purposes and to increase their populations. According to recent data, monarch populations are slowly beginning to rebound, but may have been harmed by storms in their wintering sites in Mexico. At the end of the lecture, they shared seeds of milkweed and wildflower mixes of Cape Cod natives.
This is the final lecture of the spring season, so be sure to look for the new lecture series in the fall starting in September! Our next walk will be Saturday June 11th at 3pm at the Whites Lane Conservation Area.