STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Brodhead Watershed Association advises residents to plant flowering plants to provide a safe haven for Monarch Butterflies.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the monarch butterfly had its population drop by 85% over the past 20 years.

The decline in population was attributed by the Brodhead Watershed Association to the loss of their habitat.

Included in the loss of their habitat is the loss of milkweed, the only plant that the monarch caterpillar can thrive, according to the Brodhead Watershed Association.

The milkweed is the only plant where the monarch butterfly will begin their metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly.

Insecticides and herbicides are also attributed to the decline in the butterfly population due to their inability to distinguish between beetles and butterflies, or stilt grass and milkweed.

Climate change has also been accredited to be a stressor to the plants that the butterflies rely on to survive.

To help bolster the monarch butterflies in the area, The Brodhead Watershed Association encourages local residents to reduce or eliminate the use of insecticides and herbicides in landscaping.

They also recommend planting a variety of native flowering plants, such as milkweed, goldenrod, ironweed, phlox, and Joe Pye weed, that bloom over the spring, summer, and fall.

For more information on how to help the monarch butterfly, visit the Brodhead Watershed website, or visit PSU.edu on how to grow milkweed.