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Endangered Species

Harford fields teem with monarch caterpillars and butterflies, but threats abound

Harford fields teem with monarch caterpillars and butterflies, but threats abound

The vacant lot along the edge of Toy Road, a side street off Route 22 in Churchville, looks at first glance like a collection of weeds and shrubs, but those weeds are teeming with monarch butterfly caterpillars.

Lisa Nowakowski, a self-taught entomologist and the operator of the Lisa's Enviroshows environmental education programs, checks the wide green leaves of the milkweed, a vital food source for monarchs. She has to step carefully to avoid the poison ivy that also grows in the lot.

The Bel Air resident finds a bonanza of the yellow, white and black-striped caterpillars, ranging in size from about half an inch to an inch and a half, munching on the milkweed leaves. The...

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