monarch butterfly

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

With fall on the way, monarch butterflies are beginning their annual migration south to the mountains of Mexico. Just as scientists are beginning to understand how the butterfly knows to make a 3,000 mile journey it's never made before, that migration is under threat from loss of habitat.

Cincinnati Nature Center / Provided

The Ohio Department of Transportation is helping to collect milkweed seed pods, with the idea of creating more wildlife habitat in a bid to help agriculture.

That would mean increasing the population of monarch butterflies, which eat nothing but the leaves of milkweed when they are caterpillars.

The Monarch butterfly has been studied universally – from its captivating metamorphosis to its amazing 2,500-mile migration. But within just the past decade, there has been a staggering 97% decrease in the butterfly's population. Today we'll discuss this startling decrease and the Milkweed to Monarchs program that our own Cincinnati Nature Center is undertaking to help reverse the decline. Joining us are Bill Hopple, executive director and Bill Creasey, chief naturalist & adult program manager.