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Barbara Keller-Willy [00:00:00] I think we don't always understand the role that the monarch plays as a food source for other species. And when we're thinking about saving a monarch, sometimes that's alarming to people to talk about how many of them are expected to be a food source for other animals.

Barbara Keller-Willy [00:00:25] But scientists estimate that less than 5%, so they say 3 to 5%, of the eggs that are produced - and each monarch butterfly has about 300 eggs that she can lay - and it's expected that 3 to 5% of those will reach adulthood.

Barbara Keller-Willy [00:00:48] And in doing so, they are most likely the strongest, fittest, best eggs that that female produced. And so, maybe the strongest monarchs survive, whereas the others, especially in the caterpillar stage, become food for all kinds of things.

Barbara Keller-Willy [00:01:11] You know, chickadees. It's estimated that it takes thousands of insects and caterpillars for a mama chickadee to produce one clutch of eggs to fledgling. So, you know, those caterpillars are expected to feed frogs and lizards and other insects.

Barbara Keller-Willy [00:01:33] And in that way they perform an important function within the food chain as well.