b-fly releases at events

Paul Cherubini paulcher at concentric.net
Wed Sep 22 01:26:36 EDT 1999

Mike Smith  wrote:
> Jim;  Please pass on to the initial author that butterflies should not be
> released in any kind of ceremony, no matter where they are from.  They may not
> be native to that particular habitat, or part of Wisconsin, or whatever. 

Monarchs and Painted Ladies are by far the most popular species raised
by butterfly breeders for release at ceremonies or for raising and
release by school children.  These species have near world wide
distributions. The Department of Entomology at the University of Kansas,
for example, sells thousands of monarch caterpillars to schools around
the eastern half of the nation every year. They even sell monarch
breeding stock to more than half a dozen commercial monarch breeders
each spring -- companies who in turn breed and sell the butterflies for
release at ceremonial or memorial events.

> Both
> NABA and the Lep Society have been trying very hard to stop the releasing of
> butterflies at ceremonies.  It is a well intended but potentially detrimental
> practice

Given that Wisconsin already has millions of Monarchs and Painted
Ladies, how could a few dozen or few hundred or even a few thousand
released at a ceremony or by school children be "potentially

Yes, there are some high profile zero risk extremists in NABA and the
Lep Society (Glassberg, Pyle, Opler, Tuttle) who feel ANY potential risk
involved with releases is unacceptable.

Paul Cherubini, Placerville, California

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