Thanks to the efforts by New Jersey conservationists, the beautiful monarch butterfly is making a comeback.

After nearly becoming extinct, the monarch is doing better, according to Bergen County Audubon Society President Don Torino.

"The population in the northeast, especially has been doing very well," he said.

"It is certainly one of the most famous butterflies, but it is also been really threatened and headed towards the endangered species list over recent years. Their numbers have dropped 90 percent over the last 20 years and we were really in danger of losing the butterfly for good."

He says the monarch butterfly uses milkweed to fend off predators. The plant is toxic. When the monarch caterpillar eats it, its orange color means "do not eat me, I taste bad." People who plant milkweed help the butterfly.

"This is a great example of what the average person can do. And I think it is a combination of local governments and even the federal government planting and preserving more milkweed. But especially in our area, really had a lot to do with the average person in local communities and in backyards planting more milkweed and making places for the monarch butterflies."

The society has a program called, "Milkweed in Every Yard" to help the monarch.

You can also get more information about the monarch butterfly at www.monarchwatch.org.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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