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Lawmakers to consider license plate to aid monarch habitat

March 18, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) — Environmentalists are urging Illinois lawmakers to create a new monarch butterfly license plate to help boost the population of the state insect and other pollinators.

Bills introduced in the state House and Senate would create a specialty plate, with the money generated by sales going toward planting milkweed throughout the state.

A dramatic drop in the monarch population worries environmentalists and scientists, with much of the decline blamed on habitat destruction.

Monarchs lay their eggs only on milkweed, which is the sole source of food for the caterpillars that later develop into the distinctive orange-and-black butterflies. But milkweed has been eliminated in much of the Midwest where it once was abundant.

Monarchs in the eastern United States migrate thousands of miles to Mexico for the winter.

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SB1742, HB 3465

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