For this retired naturalist, saving monarch butterflies is an obsession and a mania

Kevin Luby of Sandwich said that saving monarch butterflies is not just a hobby but it’s much more than that for him. Luby is a retired naturalist with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, where he served for over three decades, and calls it an obsession and a mania.

He is in love with nature, but he became interested in butterflies for the first time after planting Dutchman’s pipe for his work. Pipevine swallowtail butterflies started flocking to the plant, and soon he was willing to help preserve butterfly species, mainly monarch butterflies.

Luby gave a presentation based on life cycle, eating habits and migration of monarch butterflies on May 31 at the Somonauk Public Library.

Luby said that he soon became obsessed about monarch butterflies and began milkweed plantation. He added, “When butterflies’ numbers started decreasing, I went into milkweed mania, planting it anywhere I had open ground. Now I have nine milkweed circles in my backyard. I collect milkweed floss and seeds”. He added that he want to help the population of Illinois state insect monarch butterfly to his level best.

Danaus plexippus species of monarch butterflies have two different migratory populations. One of the populations stays west of the Rocky Mountains and in the coast of California overwinters.

The other population spans over most parts of the central and eastern United States and southern Canada. This population of monarch butterflies overwinters in Michoacán, Mexico, from November to March every year, where they huddle together in oyamel fir trees to stay alive and cozy.

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