b-fly releases at events

Paul Cherubini paulcher at concentric.net
Thu Sep 23 01:51:01 EDT 1999

Mark Berman wrote:

> Some schools only release a
> few [Painted Ladies], but I have been in schools that released >20 in one season. 

Ok, now were getting some numbers with which to build up a risk model.
How many elementary schools are there in Fairbanks, Alaska? Or all of
Alaska? How many Painted Ladies are we talking about if each of these
schools released 20 Painted Ladies each season?

Say there are 20 elementary schools in Fairbanks and each releases 20
Painted Ladies over a 3 month period. That's a total of 400 Painted
Ladies released over 3 months in the greater Fairbanks area (an area
involving several square miles) or an average of about 4 butterflies a

What is the realistic probability that one of the few Lepidopterists in
Fairbanks area is ever going to spot one of these short lived
butterflies and cause a false sighting to be entered into the
biogeograhical sight record database? A good chance of one false
sighting every year? Every 10 years? Every 1000-plus years?  Can someone
work through the dispersal math and statistical probabilities involved
> There are plenty of examples of introductions of non-native species
> resulting in major ecological challenges. I'm sure many of you are quite
> familiar with most. The impact of these events extends far beyond the
> relative value of monitoring programs, sometimes resulting in public health
> hazards or serious challenges to populations of valuable native organisms.

The United States Department of Agriculture grants permits for the
commercial release of only  NINE, wide ranging, abundant, NATIVE species
(e.g. Monarchs, Painted Ladies, Mourning Cloaks, etc). 

Paul Cherubini, Placerville, California

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