The Year the Monarch Didn't Appear

tom123_gwNovember 26, 2013

Saw this article today.

Very disturbing. We need to spread the news--plant a garden with flowers, especially milkweed.

I still have monarchs. My tropical milkweed has spread to many areas of my property. Like most of us, I suppose, I also have quite a few bees. If you plant flowers like we do I guess that bees are pretty normal.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Year the Monarch Didn't Appear

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It is a sad situation about the Monarchs, bees, and ALL insect life which play important roles in a healthy habitat. What greed has done is sad. How can Monsanto/Roundup's GE crops be stopped? Maybe not until most of the bees are dead and store shelves are empty...

It discourages me to see what mankind is doing to the earth, oceans included.

Did you read the article called 'the ocean is broken'? It's written by a Newcastle yachtsman regarding his sea voyage from Melbourne to Osaka. For 3000 nautical miles the ocean was void of life. He is trying to do something about what he saw, that was encouraging to hear. I had no idea of this dire situation until reading this.

I wonder what can turn around mankind's thinking that the environment is 'ours' for the wrecking? :(

Here is a link that might be useful: The ocean is broken

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 9:50PM
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Tom, in your link "The year the Monarch didn't appear", it says

"Some monarchs, when afflicted with parasites, seek out more toxic types of milkweed because they kill the parasites".
That's an interesting point. Tropical milkweed which has a higher toxicity, seems like a double edged sword, because it keeps the butterflies from migrating, no need to migrate when the food supply is still there.

Could a strain of milkweed be developed with a HIGH toxicity while keeping the traits of what is native to the location? Similar to the nematode-resistant rootstock some plants can be grafted to?

Although, there seems to be NO place to migrate to anymore.
I read that the Monarchs on the So. tip of Florida, who don't migrate are 85% OE infected. I wonder if Monarchs can adapt to all these obstacles, or will they just become extinct?

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 10:13PM
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Hello Monarch Ma, our Monarchs here in Hawaii doesn't migrate at all, but I heard that they used to travel in clusters around the island, but now? I am happy to see one or two in my neighborhood a day.. I raised monarchs as a hobby since july of this year, and I probably released around 300+ monarchs, also I have gulf frits, cabbage white and Chinese swallowtail depending on availability, they come and go, I have the host plants in my yard.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 6:08AM
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300! Wow, I'd be happy to see a dozen cats since the declining numbers set in. So glad they're doing well there!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 2:08PM
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Hi Hawaiiponder, keep doing what you're doing for those Monarchs!! Sounds heavenly there. They're smart not to migrate when living in paradise. I never see many butterflies here other than Monarchs who like the milkweed, and Painted Ladies who like the butterfly bush (buddleia). I don't know if we get Swallowtails in Ca. I'm planting a native flower garden instead of a lawn next spring, so maybe I'll see more butterfly varieties. Small gold finch birds like the sunflowers and eat them off the plant in the summer. In the winter I throw out the larger black oil sunflower seeds for the birds, but pigeons are getting most of them this season.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 9:46PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I didn't see a single monarch in 2013! My area doesn't normally have many monarchs, but zero is unusual. All my milkwed went beggin'! :(


    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 5:09PM
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misssherry, you had no Monarchs in Mississippi in 2013? Really, that seems strange because it's a warm climate or zone. Was the weather typical? The lizards got very fat this year from eating my cats until I built the outside enclosure mid summer. I would see many cats one day then NONE the next day all through the spring to summer. :(

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 7:09PM
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Wow, that's really unusual, Sherry. You get them every year, right? Still, one learns that each year is different.

For me this autumn has proved to be great for monarchs for some reason. I have four or five flittering around every day and the cats are still eating my milkweed. If we don't get a hard freeze here in Central Florida I should have them through the winter months.

I'm still seeing lots of zebra longwings, skippers, sulfurs and fritillaries. The black swallowtails seem to be gone as do the tigers. Once and a while I do see a Giant, though.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 6:29AM
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bernergrrl(z5 IL)

The populations in FL and Ca are probably going to be okay (unless OE does them in). The migratory phenomenon of the Monarchs as recently been listed as "threatened" by the International Union for the Preservation of Nature. It's very grim. Only 3 million have been counted down in Mexico so far, and last year's 60 million had Monarch experts worried.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 7:48AM
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