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Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?

 
Anonymous Coward
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07/31/2013 04:53 PM
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Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
The first monarch butterflies generally arrive in Québec in mid-June. This year, experts and the many people taking part in citizen science initiatives monitoring monarchs have seen an estimated drop of 90 per cent in the overall monarch population in Eastern Canada. This is unheard of.
Across the continent, scientists and butterfly enthusiasts are worried, and the Montréal Insectarium echoes their questions and concerns: could the migration of monarchs in eastern North America one day disappear altogether?

A few difficult seasons
Each year, the monarchs spend the winter in Mexico then in the spring they gradually move northwards through the United States and eventually into Québec. In 2012, their reproduction rates fell dramatically throughout their journey, as they were confronted with extreme temperatures, record drought, flowers empty of nectar and a scarcity of their host plant milkweed.
For the same reasons, their return to Mexico in the fall was no easier. The result? During the winter of 2012-2013, researchers found that the monarchs' hibernation area covered just 1.19 hectare of forest — 60 per cent less than the previous year's area, which was already well below the average of 7 hectares. On top of that, spring 2013 was marked by unusually cold temperatures and record rainfall. The monarchs' ability to reproduce as they headed back north was therefore greatly diminished.
The exceptionally good conditions for butterflies, including the monarch, last year in Québec were not sufficient to counter the negative effects observed in populations elsewhere on the continent. The monarch's current situation is a striking example of the impact climate change can have on biodiversity. Extreme phenomena associated with climate change and the loss of natural habitat are increasingly common. Butterflies are usually "champions" of adaptation, making recent observations all the more troubling. Although populations could potentially stabilize in the future, the teams at the Montréal Space for Life and the Insectarium remain vigilant and will be closely monitoring the progress of the monarch over the coming years.
Meanwhile, we can all take concrete action to help monarch butterflies in the way we garden and use technology.
How can you give butterflies a helping hand? Here are just two simple ways you can contribute to maintaining the monarch population:

Create a monarch oasis in your garden or on your balcony. You will help the monarchs reproduce and stock up on energy for their fall migration. [link to espacepourlavie.ca]
Share your observations of monarchs on eButterfly.ca. The data accumulated will help researchers' better document the impact of climate change on the number and distribution of butterflies. e-Butterfly.org

Keep your eyes peeled — the few butterflies observed along the way are expected to arrive in Québec soon!
Anonymous Coward
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07/31/2013 04:59 PM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
For many years now I've noticed a distinct lack of Monarch butterflies here in Maine.

Last year was the first year that I had seen any in quite sometime and I was quite happy to say the least.

Unfortunately, this summer I have yet to seen any. I have a large field with milkweed and I've planted many species of flowers that attract butterflies but so far no Monarch's.
Anonymous Coward
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07/31/2013 05:04 PM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
On the Severn river last week in Maryland, we saw at least 200 while out on the water. In the past week I've seen at least 10 a day which is many more than I could ever recount in my 24 years here.
Anonymous Coward
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07/31/2013 05:16 PM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
We live in western washington and were just discussing the lack of monarchs the last few years. We saw two last year and none this year so far. Not many swallowtails this year either. The decline of butterflies has been noticed by many over the last few years. I would assume something in the environment has affected them. We have also not had any purple martins the last few years. The barn swallows are not near as numerous as they used to be either. Could be our canaries in the coal mine type of warning for us all.
Anonymous Coward
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07/31/2013 05:24 PM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
Anonymous Coward
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07/31/2013 05:45 PM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
Butterflies are very sensitive to temperature changes, combined with their guiding systems being "off", they are disappearing. I might as well say it, it's due to the climate changing. They will be part of a major living organism die-off. If they can evolve or adapt, they will survive. Plain and simple.
jmalvarez
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07/31/2013 05:47 PM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
I got some beautiful Tiger Swallows (I think), floating around the yard.
Anonymous Coward
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07/31/2013 05:49 PM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
Bohemian Grove.
Anonymous Coward
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07/31/2013 06:02 PM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
I actually saw a few a couple of days ago in my apartment building outside in the field. normally they come out in the early spring and summer here in Texas just depends which parts your in. the hill side country parts of Texas has lots but the cities only see a few here and there.
goodmockingbird
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07/31/2013 06:18 PM

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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
Here in OK most of our butterflies emerged prematurely in Feb and March, due to an extremely mild winter.
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Smp
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07/31/2013 07:02 PM

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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
I think they are also having a hard time with the crazy Monsanto chemicals being sprayed here on everything just like the bees are having.tomato
T-Man

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07/31/2013 07:05 PM

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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
the tv series 'under the dome'
MysticSky

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07/31/2013 07:09 PM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
Seems like they are here in northern NC for the moment. I see several every day. Perhaps all the rain this year has delayed their journey. Keep up the hope and your eyes open.
hf
Lime Flavoured Redux

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07/31/2013 07:16 PM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
You do get some reports of them getting over the Atlantic and landing in the UK lol. I've never seen one though.
Modest1028

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08/26/2013 09:40 AM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
There have been about 4 of them here in florida hanging out in my plants for the past 2 days. ;) They are beautiful!
Anonymous Coward
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08/26/2013 10:00 AM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
I have a section of my flower beds exclusively for milkweed plants to help the Monarchs . I know it looks odd amongst the flowers but I'm dedicated to it and try to disperse the pods in the fall .
Modest1028

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08/26/2013 10:15 AM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
I have a section of my flower beds exclusively for milkweed plants to help the Monarchs . I know it looks odd amongst the flowers but I'm dedicated to it and try to disperse the pods in the fall .
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 45431526


Cool, that's what makes their bodies toxic so the birds won't mess with them right? I don't want so say for sure, but after looking at the pictures I'm pretty sure I have some wild milkweed growing in my flower bed. I just haven't had the time to get out there and pull the weeds, but now that I know it helps them out, I'm going to leave it ;)
Lime Flavoured Redux

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08/26/2013 10:16 AM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
I have a section of my flower beds exclusively for milkweed plants to help the Monarchs . I know it looks odd amongst the flowers but I'm dedicated to it and try to disperse the pods in the fall .
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 45431526


Cool, that's what makes their bodies toxic so the birds won't mess with them right?
 Quoting: Modest1028


Yes it is.
anonymous
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08/26/2013 10:19 AM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
Still have plenty of them in Florida along with various Swallowtails,Zebras and many others.
Modest1028

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08/27/2013 08:04 AM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
Still have plenty of them in Florida along with various Swallowtails,Zebras and many others.
 Quoting: anonymous 44792547



IMAGE ( [link to i42.tinypic.com] )
this morning!
Anonymous Coward
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08/27/2013 08:16 AM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
the tv series 'under the dome'
 Quoting: T-Man


this crap show but scary
Anonymous Coward
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08/27/2013 11:32 AM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
FUCKING BULL-DOZED !!

RE; Each year, the monarchs spend the winter in Mexico.

the MAIN FORREST for them, in mexico, was flattened by bulldozers, WHILE THERE WERE MILLIONS OF MONARCHS THERE TO BREED !!
BRIEF
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08/27/2013 11:34 AM

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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
They're all tramp stamps now :(
With freedom comes responsibility.

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Korats01

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08/27/2013 11:35 AM

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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
Good question.
christian
Suited up and Armored in Christ!

User ID: 44720951
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08/27/2013 11:37 AM

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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
I AM HERE....


:)
Susie

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Anonymous Coward
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08/27/2013 11:38 AM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
That's really sad if a big forest for them was bull-dozed in Mexico. Someone said the milkweed along their migration route up to the US and Canada was down, so go plant more milkweed. I've seen very few Monarchs the past couple of years here in Minnesota.
Anonymous Coward
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08/27/2013 11:40 AM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
All are in my backyard garden.
Anonymous Coward
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08/27/2013 12:09 PM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 21666560


They all flew to a secret base to be part of the MK-ULTRA / MONARCH programming. You can't monarch program a young sex kitten without the butterflies telling you the correct procedure. You should be thankful, they give us Britney's and Miley's to help the world burn... :(
Lime Flavoured Redux

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08/27/2013 02:31 PM
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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
I AM HERE....


:)
 Quoting: christian


Your avatar's a swallowtail though, not a monarch :p
ella

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08/27/2013 02:50 PM

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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
[link to www.livemonarch.com]

This is a link where you can order milkweed seeds. They are dedicated to saving Monarchs. If you can afford the $3 they ask you to just send a self addressed stamped envelope and they will send you seeds free

I am in Los Angeles and I planted a few seeds last year. This summer at least 5 hatched and have been flying around my yard since.
tiger1

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08/27/2013 02:55 PM

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Re: Where have all the Monarch Butterflies gone?
My property here in Northwest Indiana is loaded with butterflies, Cabbage, Swallowtails, Conner Blues, Viceroys, Monarchs, etc.We have a small pond and an assortment of heirloom and native plants. We are certified as a Nature Preserve.

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