I am back in Illinois and I met up with my good friend Steve (co-host of The Field Guides Podcast) to wax poetic about summer botanizing. Steve has spent most of his summer exploring Illinois while I have been busying myself in the southern Appalachian Mountains. We bring a lot of interesting species to the table in this episode, each with its own memorable experience. This episode was produced in part by Allan, Amy, Caitlin, Rosanna, Daniel, Mary Jane, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, Christopher, Sienna and Garth, Margie, Laura, and Mark.
Monarchs have become the poster child for protecting, conserving, and restoring native flora. Over the last decade monarchs have witnessed massive declines in their numbers. This has led to a lot of speculation as to what might be causing such declines. It seems like a simple black and white issue, monarchs need milkweed and we have plowed over most of the milkweed on this continent. As straight forward as this may seem, students of ecology will note that nothing in nature is that simple. Monarch and milkweed conservation is a complex issue with a lot of causes and that is where people like Dr. Greg Spyreas come in. Using large scale datasets, Greg and his colleagues are painting a more nuanced picture of milkweed and monarch decline. It is an interesting story that you don't want to miss. This episode was produced in part by Gregory, Mark, and Bryan.