Protect Monarchs from Disease

The western monarch population has declined by 99% since the 1980s. With such a steep decline, many people are looking for ways that they can help recover the western monarch population. Many are turning to rearing monarch butterflies and growing non-native milkweed species (example: tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica) in attempts to help monarchs. However, a growing body of research suggests that these practices do not help, and in fact may actually be harming the western monarch population by increasing rates of disease. To learn about things that can help recover the population, please read the Western Monarch Call to Action. To learn about the issues with rearing monarchs and tropical milkweed please read the resources listed below.

Joint Statement Regarding Captive Breeding and Releasing of Monarchs

Monarch Joint Venture Resources:
Potential risks of growing exotic (non-native) milkweeds for monarchs
Rearing Monarchs: Why or Why Not?

San Diego Zoo
Play it Safe for Monarchs

Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation Blog Posts:
Tropical Milkweed—a No-Grow
Keep Monarchs Wild: Why Captive Rearing Isn’t the Way to Help Monarchs