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First monarch butterflies of season spotted in Oklahoma

This Year’s Monarch Butterfly Migration Appears Larger Than Usual
Posted at 11:28 AM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 14:50:38-05

TULSA, Okla. — Butterfly sighting in Oklahoma!

It is a sign of spring as an Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinator Steering Committee Member spotted first adult monarch butterfly along US Highway 270 near Antlers.

Vonceil Harmon reported the sighting to Journey North, a citizen science program that collects monarch sightings and maps them in real-time as waves of migrations move across the continent, including Oklahoma which is centrally located in the monarch migratory path.


“This first sighting on one of Oklahoma’s state highways is an important reminder that many of the visitors using Oklahoma’s roadways may have wings and rights-of-ways can provide ample food, shelter and breeding grounds for the monarch butterfly,” said Katie Hawk, outreach lead for the Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinator Collaborative. “Their populations have plummeted at an alarming rate. And we need all hands-on deck to save them. From Enid to Durant and Elk City to Tahlequah, now is the time–before it's too late­­–for us Okies to get our hands dirty and help save the monarchs.”

How can you help?

Plant a pollinator garden

  • When: Spring, summer or fall
  • Where: Full sun is best for most pollinator plants, look for an area that gets several hours of sun a day. Your garden can be as big or small as you’d like.
  • What plants: Look for perennials, mid-blooming and late blooming. Nectar blooms help feed the monarchs:
    • Milkweed
    • Coneflower
    • Aromatic Aster
    • Blue Sage

READ MORE: Other plants good for pollinator gardens in Oklahoma

Report sightings

If you see monarch butterflies while you’re out in Oklahoma report them to Journey North.

Click HERE to register and report any sightings.

Things needed to report:

  • Location
  • What you saw
  • When
  • How many
  • Photo if possible

The Oklahoma statewide action plan can be found HERE.

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