Monarch transfers and releases

Dr. James Adams JADAMS at
Sat Sep 27 15:06:56 EDT 1997

Dear Leps-lers,

    I have a couple of comments to share about the Monarch releases 
that have been being discussed.  For thos of you who have been 
so deeply serious about all the potential harm, I say "lighten up"!!  
I can understand the concern about releasing non-migratory, non-
native species -- transport of a potentially damaging herbivore, with 
its parasites and diseases and without the normal biological controls 
can wreak havoc with an ecosystem.  But we are talking about Monarchs 
here!!  This is a species that typically makes it even into the NW, 
as Bob Pyle points out, in a good summer, and so the release of a few 
(and just keep in mind what a few means when we are talking about 
butterflies), even if the results are of questionable scientific 
value, should have no ultimate impact on anything whatsoever.  Okay, 
I agree that sightings of Monarchs from after the release in the NW 
are now invalidated as to whether they are natural immigrants or 
releasees, but don't worry, they'll die back again this winter!!  As 
for parasites/diseases, what few do get the Monarch are carried with 
them *normally* over the vast distances and tremendous range they 
cover.  Yes, we need to be concerned about transport and release of 
butterflies.  Yes, we probably need strict regulations about such 
things.  But let this one go!!

    James Adams
P.S.  Okay, those of you whose feathers I've ruffled, lets hear from 

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