Releasing Monarchs

Bob Greback bgreback at
Thu May 22 12:52:44 EDT 1997

I don't think anyone on this list can tell me how many reared monarchs it 
would take to change the genome of any "regional" population of monarchs as to 
notice ANY difference harmful or otherwise.  Unless your exposing them to 
radiation to increase the genetic load (and even that would probably not be 
enough), it would take one farfetched or astronomical piece of "luck" to rear 
a population with chaotic enough alleles to do any "damage" or change the 
region's or nation's monarch population in any noticeable way.  They are 
migratory and have a high degree of dispersal built into their ethology.  
There's no artificial selection going on here, the population is not being 
infused and confined through numerous generations. 

I wonder what E.O. Wilson would have to say about the infusion of reared stock 
into natural populations.  Probably not much.

Bob Greback

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