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Monarch butterfly population moves closer to extinction


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 https://www.yahoo.com/news/monarch-butterfly-population-moves-closer-203245343.html       

 

 It might be possible that the plummeting population of Monarchs could lead to a rebirth of conservation programs in the Midwest. Probably too much to hope for but decent habitat payments might be cheaper for USDA than all the other subsidies pumped into the Farm Program.

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Alaskan Swamp Collie

I've often said that the loss of butterflies could be fashioned to help CRP. No one in the cities or the coasts could care about the declining populations of birds that we hunt, but butterflies can get their attention. Pollinator patches in the plains would help butterflies and also help upland birds. The declining populations of birds and butterflies all circle back to ethanol and the resulting loss of grasslands. A national cry to save butterflies should be positive for bird hunting.

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Kansas Bound

I would have life in prison if they saw how many I killed with my pickup last summer. 

 

The sky was almost black.

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dogrunner

Certain areas have quite a few, I see more now than I have in a long time. 

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Kansas Big Dog

I think the monarchs in the midwest are ok. It is the ones on the west coast. And, it is not a summer habitat (milk weed) problem. It is their wintering areas from what I understand. 

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LabHunter

All insects are in decline.  Pesticides and lack of habitat....monocultures suck for everything except corn, soybeans, and deer.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/21/2021 at 7:51 PM, Kansas Big Dog said:

I think the monarchs in the midwest are ok. It is the ones on the west coast. And, it is not a summer habitat (milk weed) problem. It is their wintering areas from what I understand. 

Well considering they all winter in the same place I believe, the entire population is at risk.

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There are 2 populations, west and east of the Rockies. The western winter in S. California and the eastern in Mexico. Last count the western was down to a few thousand and the eastern was down about 80% if memory serves.

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2 hours ago, ryanr said:

Well considering they all winter in the same place I believe, the entire population is at risk.

       Not true there are more than one species of Monarch butterflies. Some are migratory, some are not. Some feed and incorporate particular species of milkweed other have different preferences. And the Absence of large areas of milkweed are a big factor in their decline. 

        There was an interesting biologist giving an in depth interview on public radio a few days ago. On point he brought up was the ongoing extinction event particularly insects and how the general public tend to be easily dismissive about it's seriousness to all the associated forms of life on the planet. An immense slow motion disaster occuring right in front of man and in plain sight.

        Definitely worth listening to and thinking about. For years and years upon years I hunted Kankakee and Iroquois counties in Ill. It is hard to describe

how many Monarchs gathered and were making their way south to Mexico during Dove, Squirrel, Woodcock, and Snipe seasons. Clouds of them. And that was Normal numbers of them in migration. Just business as usual. There are other examples I can think of as well.

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12 minutes ago, Spin said:

       Sometimes we just can't see the Forest for the Trees. Other times we can but we just can't bring ourselves to admit it.

 

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On 2/7/2021 at 3:54 PM, Spin said:

       Not true there are more than one species of Monarch butterflies. Some are migratory, some are not. Some feed and incorporate particular species of milkweed other have different preferences. And the Absence of large areas of milkweed are a big factor in their decline. 

        There was an interesting biologist giving an in depth interview on public radio a few days ago. On point he brought up was the ongoing extinction event particularly insects and how the general public tend to be easily dismissive about it's seriousness to all the associated forms of life on the planet. An immense slow motion disaster occuring right in front of man and in plain sight.

        Definitely worth listening to and thinking about. For years and years upon years I hunted Kankakee and Iroquois counties in Ill. It is hard to describe

how many Monarchs gathered and were making their way south to Mexico during Dove, Squirrel, Woodcock, and Snipe seasons. Clouds of them. And that was Normal numbers of them in migration. Just business as usual. There are other examples I can think of as well.

I think there are 3 distinct populations of Monarchs. 1 begins the population cycle up north, one flies south a good bit, then another flies to Mexico, winters there and flies back north. I think. 
Honestly during a wet year we see so many butterflies in south Texas I never noticed a decline in Monarchs. One in particular, the ?snout nosed butterfly? I think appears in such hordes that during a good year for them you honestly have stop every 50-75 miles and clean off your windshield. We also it seems dozens of kinds of yellow butterflies of various sizes in numbers such that they are honestly a pest. 
 

During a drought we don’t see many butterflies and we have been water starved since 2016 I think.  

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8 hours ago, quailguy said:

I think there are 3 distinct populations of Monarchs. 1 begins the population cycle up north, one flies south a good bit, then another flies to Mexico, winters there and flies back north. I think. 
Honestly during a wet year we see so many butterflies in south Texas I never noticed a decline in Monarchs. One in particular, the ?snout nosed butterfly? I think appears in such hordes that during a good year for them you honestly have stop every 50-75 miles and clean off your windshield. We also it seems dozens of kinds of yellow butterflies of various sizes in numbers such that they are honestly a pest. 
 

During a drought we don’t see many butterflies and we have been water starved since 2016 I think.  

According to the World Wildlife Federation you are correct. There are 3 that range mainly in North America. Also the National Geographic Society makes mention that they

were once  found in South America but no longer exist there. Humm, interesting.

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Alaskan Swamp Collie
9 hours ago, dogrunner said:

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This is what I've talked about. More interest in butterflies means more interest in upland habitat.

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Brad Eden

Monarchs were prolific when I was a kid growing up in SE MA. We had a lot of milkweed around our house. My brothers and I use to capture the Monarch caterpillars, and put them in big glass jars with milkweed and watch them turn to a hanging chrysalis, and then emerge as a butterfly. It was like the movie Alien, watching them break free from their encasing, and slowly unwrap themselves from a twisted dish rag into a beautiful butterfly. I can’t remember seeing a Monarchs up her in Maine, and have no idea if they are still around where I grew up.

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