Question and Answer

Should I bring in the monarch caterpillars I find to protect and raise them?

It is great that you are finding monarch caterpillars! It is not necessary to bring the monarchs you find indoors to raise them. Ultimately, we strive to have a self-sustaining monarch population that can survive from generation to generation without human intervention through captive rearing and protection. The best thing you can do to support monarchs is to create habitat for them!

If you wish to raise monarchs, you are encouraged to do so in small numbers, for outreach, personal enjoyment, or citizen science. With the risks associated with large-scale rearing for release into the wild, raising large numbers of monarchs in captivity is not a recommended conservation strategy. Creating habitat, rich in milkweed and nectar sources, is critical in our efforts to support self-sustaining monarch populations.

Please read our handout Raising Monarchs: Why or Why Not? for more information about raising monarchs.

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