... Matt Morris is all too aware of the monarch’s plight as well. Morris manages Zilker Botanical Garden’s Butterfly Trail, which includes roughly 45 gardens that cover about three acres. The winding trails and gardens may appear purely decorative, but there is intent behind every purple passionflower, pipevine, blue porterweed and, of course, the multitude of milkweed—all favorable to help create the next generation of caterpillars.
In 2012, Morris established the garden as a certified Monarch Waystation—a concept created by Monarch Watch, a national outreach and awareness program—which supplies migrating butterflies and caterpillars with the milkweed, flowering plants, shelter and water they need for survival, and educates visitors about how they can help. “These waystations provide the necessities for monarchs to complete their incredible migration,” Morris says. “With habitat loss, pesticide use and weather extremes, these backyard oases are becoming more important not only for monarchs but for other butterflies as well.”
At Zilker, Morris is also part of Monarch Watch’s tagging program, which involves adhering tiny tags with numbered information to a monarch’s wing. Anyone who finds a dead tagged monarch can call the phone number on the tag and provide information about the butterfly’s location. Tracking a monarch’s movement may hold clues about the forces affecting their behavior patterns...
Read the full article at edibleaustin.com/index.php/homeandgarden-2/gardening/1468-perilous-journey