Should I purchase monarchs for release?
We do not recommend buying monarchs commercially to raise/release into your garden or other habitat. We feel that creating, restoring, enhancing and maintaining habitat for monarchs and other pollinators is the best conservation strategy. Habitat is beneficial to more than just monarchs, and encourages a healthy ecosystem with diverse pollinators, which are essential to our economy. While monarchs may not always find or utilize every milkweed patch, increasing habitat everywhere helps to ensure connectivity of habitats and increases the likelihood that monarchs will find suitable breeding grounds. Aside from concerns about the purchase and release of commercially raised monarchs, one of the major factors influencing the decline in the first place is broad scale loss of habitat. We must work to restore habitat on the landscape so that the wild population can rebound.
For more details on concerns expressed by some monarch researchers, view this statement: http://monarchlab.org/biology-and-research/monarch-rearing/captive-breeding-and-releasing-monarchs/. (Note, this statement does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of all MJV partners).