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Monarch Butterflies Talk at NCTC

By Staff | Mar 9, 2015

The Friends of the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC), group will host the second in its series of community lectures this Thursday, March 12.

Butterfly expert Robert Pyle will lead a lecture on the Monarch butterfly, a well known species that has been rapidly disappearing in recent decades.

According to the friends group, the monarch butterfly has suffered an approximately 90 percent decline in population since 1996, as a result of things like habitat loss and loss in food sources caused by human usage of pesticides to kill milkweed.

Friends member Janet Olcott described the Monarch’s life cycle “dramatic.”

“It takes a lot of different things going right for the monarchs to be successful,” she said.

According to Olcott, the presentation is being given as part of an initiative to help save the monarch. The U.S. FIsh and Wildlife Service and the national Wildlife Federation are both partners in the conservation efforts underway to educate the public in safer pesticide use and habitat restoration practices.

Mark Madison, friends member and NCTC historian, helps find speaker for the group’s lectures.

Madison said that Pyle’s presentation promises to “awesome.”

“He’s a rare combination of a really gifted scientist and an award winning author,” he said.

“He communicates really well with the public.”

Madison said this ability is “critical,” in the lecture’s mission to educate the audience and offer practical instruction in making positive change.

“We can do something to bring them back,” he said.

Madison said the lecture series also give audiences an inside look into the work the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is doing.

“People don’t usually see it,” he said.

“This is a chance to share it with the local community.”

Olcott said she hopes the public will also get to learn about the Friends of NCTC group.

“The friends are doing some interesting things and we’d love have more people join us,” she said.

Olcott said a membership booth and applications will be available at the event.

The lecture will be held at the Byrd Auditorium at the National Conservation Training Center, beginning at 7 p.m. Entrance to the lecture series is free.

Find out more information about the Friends of NCTC group by visiting their web site at www.friendsofnctc.org/.