Checkerspot on the news

Neil Jones Neil at
Mon May 8 06:02:59 EDT 2000

In article <3914FD68.CE0CB2C7 at> viceroy at "anne kilmer" writes:

> I have pursued this on the glorious Web ... 
> They're finding that the nitrogen in vehicle emissions causes non-native
> grasses to crowd out the native host plants that the Bay checkerspot
> uses. 
> They now use cows (!) to graze down the grasses and find that the
> butterfly returns. 
> Anybody think they're grazing the embattled area? 
>  Cows are not an elegant solution anyway. I suppose the little man with
> the bucket and spade is gathering the manure, but hooves dig up fragile
> soil, destroy other plants, and cows are not that particular as to what
> they eat. 

Actually I wouldn't worry too much about the cows. These grasslands would
have been grazed in the past by wild herbivores. I presume California
had buffalo before they were nearly exterminated?
We use Cows on our Checkerspot sites here. They also have to be nutrient
poor.  The alternative is mowing and it has been found that it can reduce
the diversity in the sward. Those hoof prints can be valuable germination
areas. The Serpentine Grasslands you find the Bay Checkerspots on
are gorgeous. They are full of a superb mix of wildflowers.
We don't go around collecting the manure with a bucket and spade. Though
it might help. The nitrogen is removed as the protein in the animals

> Sheep and goats would be worse. 
> Any votes for Boy Scouts with Roundup onna stick? 
> Second graders with nail scissors? 
> The requirements for the bugs are frighteningly precise ... maybe we'll
> win, and I'm glad we're trying, but oh Lordy, Lordy.

Yes. This is the problem and why I get so frustrated by people who 
suggest, Oh we can just release a few somewhere. Bugs are phenomenally
complicated creatures which is one of the fascinations for me. 

> Here's a nice site. 
> Anne Kilmer
> Mayo, Ireland
> Doug Yanega wrote:

Neil Jones- Neil at
"At some point I had to stand up and be counted. Who speaks for the
butterflies?" Andrew Lees - The quotation on his memorial at Crymlyn Bog
National Nature Reserve

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