Right of Way for Monarchs

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Illinois Department of Transportation has announced that they will join neighboring states in altering mowing practices. In the past, Illinois has varied the width of the strip that is mowed next to roadways. Mowing improves visibility and prevents hazards such as trees from establishing to close to the roads. In Summer 2017, IDOT will narrow the width of their mowing strip to only 15 feet from the edge of the roadway. The plan is to let wildflowers, including milkweed the monarch host plant, establish and provide increased habitat for butterflies and other wildlife.

To prevent the growth of trees, it may be necessary to cut the foliage after it dies in the fall and most of the insects have migrated to overwintering sites. However, this can be done once per year rather than monthly or more frequently. In addition to enhancing wildlife, mowing less frequently can save on the cost of fuel and labor. This summer, motorists will have more colorful scenery whizzing past.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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3 Responses to Right of Way for Monarchs

  1. Pingback: Right of Way for Monarchs – Entomo Planet

  2. Pingback: On the Right Road | Living With Insects Blog

  3. Pingback: On the Right Road – Entomo Planet

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