People across North America are playing a role in our effort to increase and improve breeding and migratory habitat for monarchs and other pollinators. These habitats, both large and small, serve as important food sources for monarch adults and caterpillars. During the breeding season, female monarchs lay eggs on milkweed plants because it is the only thing that their larvae can eat. Adults obtain nectar from a variety of different flowering species. These islands of habitat also offer a place to rest and refuel for migrating butterflies each spring and fall.
Monarchs can benefit from a variety of habitats. The key components to a successful habitat are the availability of native milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.) and nectar sources. Mixed wildflower species that bloom throughout the growing season provide monarchs and other pollinators a continuous source of food.
Types of Monarch Habitat
Read more about the habitat types recognized in this program on our Create Habitat for Monarchs page. They include:
- Gardens - these include home gardens, schoolyards, office parks, and similar areas.
- Managed Corridors - utility rights of way, roadsides, highways, abandoned railroads and other linear features.
- Agricultural Areas - farms and fallow fields.
- Natural and Restored Areas - parks, nature sites, and other areas not used for another purpose.
- Other - we welcome new ideas on how to create monarch habitat!