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NH asks for donations of milkweed pods to help Monarch butterflies

  • Examples of milkweed pods to be collected NH Fish & Game—courtesy

  • A monarch butterfly rests on an equally colorful flower in Conway. Contributed photo/Anthony Borton

  • A monarch butterfly on milkweed. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) ap file photograph

Concord Monitor
Published: 9/18/2021 9:19:19 PM
Modified: 9/18/2021 9:19:33 PM

CONCORD — People are being asked to collect pods from the milkweed plant, the favorite food of monarch butterflies, so the state can use them to create “conservation corridors” along highways.

Milkweed is a tall, broad-leafed plant that serves as food for many species of pollinators and is vital to monarch butterflies. It’s the only plant on which monarch butterflies lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch, caterpillars feed on the milkweed.

The decline of milkweed across the U.S., where it is often considered an unwanted plant, has contributed to an 80% reduction in the eastern monarch butterfly population over the last 20 years.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension are asking for donations of milkweed pods. The seeds, which will be collected throughout the state through Oct. 30, will be sown along with other native varieties of perennials by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to create “conservation corridors” along state highways

Milkweed seed pods should be collected when they are dry, and gray or brown in color — not when still green and closed.

Pods should be stored in a paper bag, labeled with their collection date and county of origin, and kept in a cool and dry place until they can be delivered to a participating collection site, including Fish & Game headquarters at 11 Hazen Drive in Concord.

Leave some pods on each plant to also allow for natural dispersal and reseeding.

For more information on best practices for collecting milkweed pods and a list of collection locations, visit extension.unh.edu/milkweed.

New Hampshire is one of many states across the butterfly’s range to include the monarch in their state Wildlife Action Plan as a species of greatest conservation need.

People or organizations with questions about how to participate in this new statewide initiative should contact Haley Andreozzi at haley.andreozzi@unh.edu or 603-862-5327 for more information.




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