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Surviving for Monarch butterflies is getting harder and harder. Scientists believe the population of the butterflies has diminished by as much as 80 per cent since the 1980s. At the Montreal Botanical Garden, Alessandro Dieni kneels down over an imported species of milkweed called Asclepias curassavica, or tropical milkweed. “[The Monarchs] come all the way from Mexico, simply to feed and to complete their life cycle — and they can only do that with the presence of milkweed,” said the co-ordinator of the Botanical Garden’s Monarch Mission campaign. “It’s the only plant that the caterpillars can feed on.” It’s also where the butterflies lay their eggs. This week, amateurs and experts alike across North and South America, are taking part in the International Monarch Monitoring Blitz. Participants simply input their observations online after spotting milkweed plants, eggs, or any form of the butterflies.

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