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RGV Plays Role in Largest Insect Migration in the Country

5 years 3 months 2 days ago Thursday, March 30 2017 Mar 30, 2017 March 30, 2017 3:23 PM March 30, 2017 in Community - Con Mi Gente

MCALLEN – It’s that time of year when thousands of butterflies are beginning to migrate. Most will be the monarch butterflies and they'll be flying to Canada.

The monarchs can be easy to spot by their black, orange and white colors.

“Coming from Michoacán and will be coming through our backyards all the way up to Canada. Some travel a 3,000-mile route and they need food along the way. It’s the largest insect migration in the country,” Quinta Mazatlan Director Colleen Hook said.

People visited the center recently to learn more about the butterflies and setting up gardens at their homes with special plant – the milkweed.

“This is the native milkweed in Texas, our part of Texas. And the monarch feed on it. The monarch larva and the caterpillars,” James from San Benito explained.

“The monarch butterfly only lays its eggs on one plant which is the milkweed. And that’s how critical this one flower is. The advantage of doing a garden is that many other butterflies come as well,” Hook said.

The event also had face painting, games, pictures and entertainment for the attendees.

It is the first year that Quinta Mazatlan hosted the event and apparently it was a big hit.

“They were very well prepared for people who don’t know what they’re doing,” Joann Hurley from Michigan said.

“I got up early this morning for this. I didn’t have to. I think it’s good for my girls, so I really appreciate it,” Thane Stroop said.

“We’ve got a great turnout. We’ve got speakers, entertainment. We’ve got a butterfly tent to see live butterflies,” Margie McCreery with Friends of Quinta said.

Some environmentalists said the number of monarch butterflies have been declining recently.

“So we’re an important point to help these butterflies survive. It’s amazing that they know the route every year to take. And we have to support that by everybody planting a butterfly garden. We’re an extremely critical habitat,” Hook said.

The migration usually starts in March or early April.

You can catch Con Mi Gente segments Tuesdays and Thursdays on CHANNEL 5 NEWS THIS MORNING and CHANNEL 5 NEWS at 5.

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