3 thoughts on “Monarch Butterfly Experts: Citizen Scientists Can Be Agents of Change

  1. Here in Hermosa Beach California we have milkweed plants everywhere at the Sunrise Senior Living Hermosa Beach California. One of the residents son-in-laws have planted them everywhere. We have an overabundance of beautiful monarch butterflies flying around everywhere laying their eggs on the milkweed. Then we have caterpillars and cocoons. They have brought so much joy and Beauty to our community. I was amazed when I seen the transformation myself. Thank you for all your information and all you do about the monarch butterflies. We here in Hermosa Beach is right next to El Segundo California where they have the blue butterfly. It is my understanding that the blue butterfly lays its eggs on the buckwheat plant. So we’re trying to plant some buckwheat so we can have Monarch and blue butterflies. Thank you and God bless you for all the work that you are doing.

    • wonderful news jean. Keep it up!!! Maybe look at doing a tagging program. Google it and you will find out how to get the tags and do it correctly. I bet the residents would love it!

  2. I’d like to talk with Dr. Taylor. Here in Southern CA, we have been clearly told that we are doing more harm than good. I’ve tried to contact Dr. Taylor to see how he feels about the statement that was sent to me by Xerces Society by Emma Pelton.
    Understand that she sent this when I kept questioning her about her defining the ‘citizen scientists’ gardeners here who raise healthy milkweeds & nectar plants, and healthy Monarch butterflies. Somehow, she has got it stuck in her mind that we are…”that rearing and releasing monarchs is an unproductive way to contribute to the monarch population’s recovery and, if anything, may have serious, negative impacts by interrupting natural behavior, genetics, disease, etc. This is especially of concern with a species which has undergone such an extensive population decline as the monarch has. ”
    We do NOT raise Monarchs in mass numbers as she has stated. The majority raise Monarchs from eggs, but many also take a stewardship role in raising them in their garden. They are healthy, very low rate of O.e., and they are not doing any more in-breeding than any other population. We have set protocol to follow to maintain healthy, O.e. free milkweed plants. We have set protocols to have backup milkweed plants that have not had any Monarch near it. And we have some of the most dedicated & knowledgeable Monarch Raisers here in Southern CA. And quite honestly, I’m sick of hearing that ‘we are doing it wrong.’
    There is a workshop set up by Xerces Society to ‘teach’ us the right way. It is supposed to be a 2 day workshop, with the first day being the ‘instructive’ day, and the 2nd day we were going to be seeing an overwintering site here in San Diego County. As I have pointed out many times the employees of Xerces, no overwintering sites are here in San Diego County. The closest we have is the Gibbs Park in Huntington Beach. And that’s a mixed overwintering spot. Monarchs are breeding and laying eggs, and the caterpillars are eating their way to pupation and then to butterflies.
    So their second day is still set at TBD.
    We haven’t heard from anyone at Monarch Alert for most of this year.
    And the term “citizen scientist” is not usually acceptable to us because of the constant stream of negative articles & papers & posts. Yet, no one has actually been here to study how our population lives & reproduces. Our reports of Monarchs in our area are considered outside the parameters of any study, and are not added to the overall number of Monarchs in California.
    When I suggested that someone actually conduct such a study, I was ignored, or told there was no need for such a study.
    The situation in Canada has highlighted what we experience here. Those late Monarchs will breed until it’s too cold. And those who raise those caterpillars will be scrambling to feed them.
    If you can, Dr. Taylor, tell me how I can somehow talk with you. Why you? Because you have an open mind. You are observing and commenting, not judging what the Monarch does in adapting to climate change.
    I no longer post sightings to Journey North because I was told my numbers didn’t fit.
    Please, can we talk?
    Link sent: http://xerces.org/joint-statement-against-captive-breeding-and-releasing-of-monarchs/

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