Texas hopes to keep Monarch butterflies off endangered list

This photo taken Oct. 25, 2014 shows a Monarch butterfly feeding on a Duranta flower in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
This photo taken Oct. 25, 2014 shows a Monarch butterfly feeding on a Duranta flower in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

TEXAS (KXAN) — You may have noticed a glint of gold and orange while walking through a garden; it’s the wings of a monarch butterfly taking flight in the summer sun.

Texas is working to save the state butterfly from becoming an endangered species. The State Comptrollers Office has announced nearly $500,000 in funding for a research project to study the monarch butterfly.

Texas A&M and Sam Houston State will split the money for the research. Currently, the Federal Government is deciding whether to place the monarch butterfly on the endangered species list.

Deforestation in butterfly breeding grounds in Mexico has dramatically hurt the numbers. The State and Federal government have joined forced to improve habitats in Texas to help the butterflies during their migration through Texas.

Organizations have also started campaigns to convince people to plant and grow milkweed to provide more food for butterflies. Monarchs survive on the milkweed plant. The returning butterflies find milkweeds to lay their eggs.

Hatched caterpillars eat large amounts of milkweed before becoming butterflies. Their migration nature has the butterflies flitting around Texas during Spring and Summer to their winter homes.

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