Target or Affiliated Species or Habitat
Butterfly milkweed (A. tuberosa) has been identified as a major monarch larval host plant in the Northwest Florida Panhandle. Due to the success of other restoration projects, the Northwest Florida Water Management District received funding from the USFWS to establish additional butterfly milkweed host plants at the Sand Hill Lakes Mitigation Bank (SHLMB). SHLMB already contains quality monarch habitat that includes native nectar plants and additional native milkweed species (Clayton 2015).
Clayton writes, “Enhancing the butterfly milkweed population at the SHLMB will support the monarch butterflies within the Florida Panhandle and could aide in the recovery of local populations” (Clayton 2015). The project proposes to install 3,250 butterfly milkweed plants at the SHLMB, and district staff and researchers are currently determining planting locations that will have the highest impact for monarch butterflies, which are often observed migrating through the SHLMB in spring as the population returns to the United States and Canada. Southern Habitats, a native plant nursery located in Madison, Florida, will be propagating and installing the milkweed being used for the project (Clayton 2015).