Monarch transfers and releases (fwd)

Pavulaan at Pavulaan at
Sat Sep 27 14:22:31 EDT 1997

In a message dated 97-09-27 09:00:00 EDT, Anne Kilmer writes of Hans
Schauber's International Federation of Butterfly Enthusiasts:

<< I'd advise his panel of experts to get their names off his list, >>


No, I don't think I'll have my name removed from the Federation's "board of
advisors" just yet.    I volunteered to be an advisor, in hopes that a voice
of moderation might prove an asset to the group.  If you want to make your
voice heard, opinion count, get involved, and perhaps you can sway the group,
or at least get a wider audience for your views.  

As far as the Monarch releases, I think all the paranoia and hysteria over
such a new concept MAY be a bit premature.  Valid concerns expressed so far,
such as Bob Pyle's, have merit and should be studied.  And, being on who is
interested in butterfly distributions, I can fully understand those concerns.

The whole concept of the butterfly release needs to be refined, and STUDIED.
 But I do think concern over the threat of plague-bearing, locally raised
butterflies is sheer hysteria.  Sure, Monarchs brought in from another state
can upset counts and migratory studies, but a even a few hundred Monarchs
amid a regional population of millions, cannot possibly have much of an
effect.  At the least, tagging should be done.  Studying the effects of a
release on local populations CAN be a scientific study.  

I think that, if the idea catches on, local sources of butterflies can and
should be secured.  The focus should be on introducing and propagating native
local hosts and nectar sources, especially in gardens, and let the
butterflies recover or reestablish themselves.  Unless of course, the USDA
steps in and requires a permit for even rearing caterpillars in your own back
yard, which will probably be the next step.  But a little publicity for the
cause, with locally-reared, released butterflies at events can do more good
by educating the public.  After all, isn't our current mass culture driven by
sound bytes on the evening news?

Harry Pavulaan

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