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Thomas Klak shares his monarch butterfly expertise with ‘NEWS CENTER Maine’

NEWS CENTER Maine's Beth McAvoy interviews Tom Klak next to UNE's monarch garden
NEWS CENTER Maine's Beth McAvoy interviews Tom Klak next to UNE's monarch garden

September 09, 2019

This display describes plants in the UNE monarch garden and why they are important to monarch butterflies
This display describes plants in the UNE monarch garden and why they are important to monarch butterflies

Thomas Klak, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Environmental Studies, says Mainers are seeing more monarchs this year than they have seen in a long time.

Klak says it appears the monarch population is bouncing back after years of decline. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, one billion monarch butterflies have vanished in the last 20 years.

NEWS CENTER Maine called on Klak for his expertise on whether or not monarchs are impacted by the growing trend of people raising them in their homes.

Klak raises monarchs in his kitchen. He showed NEWS CENTER Maine some chrysalises dangling from the lid of a small plastic container punctured with air holes. 

"This is the stage between the caterpillar and butterfly,” he told NEWS CENTER Maine. “The monarch will be in this particular stage of its metamorphosis for a week.” 

According to Klak, people who bring either an egg or caterpillar indoors vastly increase the likelihood that it will make it to adulthood. 

There is a downside to this as well. A recent study indicates that raising monarchs in your home may be impacting their ability to migrate.

 

 

 

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