monarch butterfly

Monarch butterflies are back in Toronto this summer and people are so excited

Monarch butterflies are triumphantly taking over Toronto again this summer, with lots of nature lovers eagerly snapping photos of the beautiful black, white and orange creatures.

Monarch butterflies migrate in late summer and fall from North America to winter in Mexico.

In the process, they travel thousands of kilometres, and can travel 80 kilometres in a single day.

In Canada, Monarch butterflies are most abundant in Quebec and Ontario where breeding habitats and the milkweed plants they feed on are plentiful.

Monarch sightings for 2021 in Toronto first started around April, but by June and then into late July sightings have exploded.

It's great that we're seeing lots of these butterflies, as Monarchs are on the list of species at risk in Ontario.

Monarchs in their caterpillar and butterfly form have been spotted in areas of Toronto like High Park and the Music Gardens.

Sightings aren't just about fun and pretty photos: recording sightings is actually one of the things you can do to help protect monarch butterflies, and being specific about location and even mapping coordinates is even better.

Other things you can do include making sure your lawn and garden are pesticide-free, and volunteering with local parks or nature clubs to participate in surveys or stewardship work.

If we want to continue to take pretty pictures of Monarchs and see them flock in breathtaking clouds of thousands during their migrations along Lake Ontario, there are things we can all do to help these fragile insects.

Lead photo by

Amir F

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