Pollinators are amazing animals! Let's get this initiative started with some buzzworthy facts.
What is pollination?
- Pollination is the transfer of pollen from a male part (anther) of a plant's flower to the female part (stigma). This aids the reproduction of plants and as a result, ensures the creation of seeds.
- There are a few different types of pollination, including wind pollination where the pollen is blown in the wind to other plants (this type of pollination can give some people allergies!), water pollination in which pollen is transferred through water currents and animal pollination, when pollen is transferred by an animal visiting flowers, such as monarch butterflies.
General Pollinator Facts
- There are two Canadian monarch populations, one on the west coast and the other east of the Rocky mountains. Western monarchs travel to California in late summer or early fall to escape the cold winter while the eastern monarch travels from southern Canada and the eastern US to Mexico for the winter.
- Eastern monarchs travel about 4 000 km to 5 000 km one way. They return to Canada in the spring, usually beginning their journey in March and arriving by June.
- Monarchs have four life stages: egg, caterpillar (larva), chrysalis (pupa), and butterfly (adult).
- Monarchs butterflies live two to six weeks, except for the last generation of the year, which migrate to the south and overwinter, who live six to eight months.
- It can take four to five generations of monarchs to complete the spring migration from the south of the continent back to Canada.
- Monarch caterpillars only feed on milkweed plants. They eat for approximately 10 to 14 days before going into a chrysalis.
- Monarch butterflies weigh under 1 gram and have a 7 cm to 10 cm wingspan.
- Their populations have declined by about 90% since the 1990's.
- Viceroy butterflies look very similar to monarchs but have a straight black line along the veins of their back wings whereas monarchs do not have this line.
Importance of Pollinators