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Possible cause identified for monarch butterfly population depletion

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by Turtle, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. Turtle

    Turtle Arachnosquire Active Member

    The past few weeks I have been researching landscape designs to build a native plant butterfly garden. In my process of educating myself I found, to my surprise, that the monarch butterfly populations are crashing. There's been much speculation and debate by many as to why this is happening, be it GMO crops, pesticides and even milkweed being 'not as common' as it used to be etc.

    I just read this article and it seems like a valid hypothesis. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/tech...te-road-salt-as-culprit-—-and-cure/ar-AAGKrx2. What are ya'lls thoughts on this topic?
  2. It's a great big combination of different factors. Everything from overuse of systemic pesticides, climate change, and habitat destruction. While soil toxicity probably plays some role, I think that host plant availability and proximity to pesticide prevalent areas plays a larger one. https://entomologytoday.org/2019/05...uences-monarch-butterfly-egg-laying-survival/
    On a side note, we've been asking folks to *not* use tropical milkweed over native varieties that die off in the winter. The reason for this is the Danaus plexippus that migrate (not all do) may stay next to the evergreen tropical plants instead of moving further southward.
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  3. Turtle

    Turtle Arachnosquire Active Member

    Thank you very much for that article, very interesting read. I wish I could convince everyone that they should burn their lawns and plant useful native species lol

    I have seed for Asclepias syriaca that will be going in a 30ft x 3ft raised bed this spring.
  4. Galapoheros

    Galapoheros ArachnoGod Old Timer

    Using my own eyeballs while driving around Texas roads, I see millions of native milkweed plants along the side of the road. A problem I see is the mowing down of all the native range plants on the side of the roads at not such a good time. imo they need to time it better. Some county and state roadside management programs claim to mow after plants have seeded, in general, but to me it looks like they don't care and just do it, ...whenever.
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  5. Been blessed, the annual flowers I planted have been visited by more types (colours?) of butterflies in various sizes (incl Monarchs), lots of bees and even a hummingbird. I dead-headed my planted flowers all summer, and watered frequently -- so I had (still have) hundreds of flowers for them. This has been a banner year for me with bees & butterflies -- and the hummingbird was a first in many years!

    I do think pesticides and mowing down (or simply destroying) natural sources of flowering plants plays a large role in diminishing populations. It's sad man tries to over-tame nature.

    I understand laws and know my front lawn must be kept neatly mowed in my town; but in the back-yard, I leave several good sized areas un-mowed -- leaving all types of natural wildflowers to flourish (my bees esp adore the natural clover) -- seems a nice compromise for them all. I don't use any pesticides or herbicides -- all organic.
  7. First I've heard of this, but it sounds like a solid research project. Wouldn't that be nice if the answer proved to be that simple!
  8. Smokehound714

    Smokehound714 Arachnoking Active Member

    numbers are crashing because they are collected in huge numbers for sale as dead adults. it's likely people are poaching their hibernation spot in mexico, simply taking the cold and lethargic butterflies.

    i would advise against trusting anything from msn or any media outlets.
  9. Tuisto

    Tuisto Arachnosquire

    Mowing should be abolished period. What a complete waste of time and resources. Mutilating nature has become a weekly event even for the layman. The reprocussions are reaching.
  10. Turtle

    Turtle Arachnosquire Active Member

    So just be willfully ignorant? No thanks.

    All articles on msn are sourced. They range from the NY times and the wall street journal to fox news. There’s a lot of trash and there are some good reads. Don’t make the assumption I cant tell the difference and don’t do follow up research. The article I linked is from the Minneapolis Star Tribune posted on msn.

    I can’t find anything related to detrimental poaching of monarchs. Please share your information source. I guess you could really sum it up as the plague of man is causing it, just like everything else.
  11. Smokehound714

    Smokehound714 Arachnoking Active Member

    plus it's
    I'm gonna stick to my words because ive made lots of claims in this fashion and ended up being right. so *shrug*

    the most popular butterfly in the new world, with an easily accessible hibernacula and tons of media coverage..

    and btw: https://www.etsy.com/listing/244754...bbpEUDKqYY872qSQevTegoGwdD6M-7bhoChx0QAvD_BwE

    they are captured in huge numbers just like all the other bugs. with this location well-known to the public it's a given people are taking them. it's just too easy.
  12. Turtle

    Turtle Arachnosquire Active Member

    I don’t understand your point, just saying something without backing it up doesn’t make you right because you say so. Is that what your saying?
    Meh, we can agree to disagree.

    All you’ve showed me is people poach them and sell them online, no argument there. You’re saying this practice is greatly contributing to 80-90% population reductions? All i’ve seen says habit destruction, climate change and apparently road salt are contributors. I can’t find any information that supports your argument.
  13. bugmankeith

    bugmankeith Arachnoking Old Timer

    Have you tried going on Monarch Watch website, they have kits to tag migrating monarchs from all around the US and have great information as well as kits to raise monarchs for release and host plants. https://monarchwatch.org/
  14. Nicholas Rothstein

    Nicholas Rothstein Arachnosquire Active Member

    Ooo I love monarch butterflies. I think invasive species, humans cutting stuff down, and poaching play the biggest roles.

    Here is a picture of some caterpillars and chrysalis. When I get home I'll find the rest. I raised a few hundred when the milkweed by my house was gonna get cut down.

    It was an experience of a lifetime releasing hundred of butterflies over a week. I've also been to a Kamehameha butterfly release, that was amazing too. Ah now I need to find those pictures too...

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