Due to weather related issues, in some areas there may be delayed deliveries of your Monday issue of the NewsTribune.
If road conditions are severe enough, your delivery person may not be able to deliver your NewsTribune at all on Monday.
In this case, your Monday edition will be delivered with your Tuesday newspaper.
We ask you to be understanding for the safety of our carriers.
A monarch caterpillar on the leaf of a milkweed. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo
The DNR is the largest landowner in Illinois. Native species can turn to parks, preserves, forests and other properties, which play a significant role in the survival of insects, birds, plants, fish and animals including monarch butterflies.
The highest quality habitats have been identified through the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory. These 28,000 acres occupy 0.077 percent — a mere 8/100ths of 1 percent of the total Illinois landscape. These areas represent the pinnacle of terrestrial biodiversity in the state. These sites are owned by the DNR, other public entities and private individuals and are protected by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission. The DNR conducts ongoing stewardship, from combating invasive species to conducting controlled fires.
SPRINGFIELD — One of Illinois’ state symbols has been the topic of troubling news: Scientists documented an unprecedented decrease in monarch butterflies on wintering grounds in Mexico since the mid-1990s.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is asking for the public’s help in growing monarch populations. And that means growing milkweed.
The fate of the monarch is tied to the fate of milkweeds. Adult, winged monarchs nectar on milkweed as well as other flowers. But more importantly, milkweeds are the only host plant for monarch reproduction. There are 19 species of milkweeds that mostly grow in prairies though some species are found in woodlands, untilled fields, roadsides and ditches.
Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweeds. In a few days caterpillars emerge, feed on the milkweed plants for about two weeks, and prepare for metamorphosis inside a chrysalis. In 10 days to two weeks, adult butterflies emerge. Monarchs are migratory and it takes four generations to complete the journey from the central United States to wintering grounds in Mexico and back again.
“Forty years ago, Illinois schoolchildren convinced the Illinois General Assembly to adopt the monarch butterfly as Illinois’ state insect,” said DNR director Marc Miller. “Help us honor that legacy by working with us to conserve habitat for the monarch and make our state parks and backyards safe harbors for these amazing, long-distance travelers.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Leave the milkweeds— Don’t mow or spray herbicide on milkweed patches. Many milkweeds grow readily along roadsides, field edges, uncultivated fields and other untended places. Decreasing mowing saves fuel and time and provides habitat for many species of grassland birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and insects.
Buy native plants — Include milkweed and native plants in your landscape. Many communities hold native plant sales in spring. The DNR offers a Schoolyard Habitat Grant Program. Visit dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/grants.htm.
Educate — The DNR offers resources for schools and educators at dnr.state.il.us/education/insecttrunk.htm.
Wings, Stings and Leggy Things, www.dnr.illinois.gov/publications/Documents/00000563.pdf, Spanish-language version, www.dnr.illinois.gov/publications/Documents/00000662.pdf.
Illinois’ State Symbols, www.dnr.illinois.gov/publications/Documents/00000547.pdf, Spanish-language version, www.dnr.illinois.gov/publications/Documents/00000561.pdf.