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The challenges I face trying to help the Monarch butterfly in my backyard mirror the challenges the Monarch faces. It takes A LOT to support Monarch butterflies because they can lay so many eggs. In the wild, only a small fraction of the caterpillars will survive pests and diseases to turn into butterflies.
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The main culprit for this precipitous decline is no longer logging in the reserve (although that still takes place) but the huge increase in land planted with genetically modified, herbicide resistant soybean and corn crops (93 percent of total soybean acreage and 85 percent of corn acreage in 2013) in the U.S. Corn Belt.