[SoWestLep] Mexico expands monarch butterfly habitat

Paul Cherubini cherubini at mindspring.com
Mon Nov 13 16:52:28 EST 2000

Michael, your article on the North American Butterfly Association website
was listed under "Hot Topics" (just above butterfly releases) and was about 
the impact of aerial mosquito spraying over the New York City from a 
butterfly conservation standpoint. In this regard you made the following 

" It is not made clear to the public that these broad-spectrum insecticides 
 (Malathion, Sumithrin and Resmethrin) kill many other insects besides
 mosquitoes. These include economically valuable insects such as 
 honeybees, praying mantids and ladybird beetles as well as conspicuous 
 and attractive species such as butterflies.The seductiveness of aerial pesticide
 spraying, devastating to butterflies and other non-target species...."

to which I responded:

"The problem here is that I don't believe the Professor [Michael Gochfeld]
can bring any scientific references to the table to back up the claim
mosquito spraying is typically "devastating to butterflies and other
non-target species". If no scientific evidence is available to back up that 
claim, then it seems to me the NABA article IS misleading the public."

to which you responded:

" I actually studied this in Westchester County in the 1950's, and I may
 even be able to find the note that was published about 40 years ago.
 In fact it was the mosquito spraying that effectively put an end to my
 butterfly collecting." 

Michael, the three mosquito adulticides you named above that were
sprayed in New York ( Malathion d-phenothrin and resmethrin) 
were not even available back in the 1950's so there is no way you could have
data to back up your claim that these products are DEVASTATING 

So the statement you made about the impact being DEVASTATING was
merely an OPINION, not a fact. This is misleading the public and brings
us back to Mark Walker's original question and opinion:

"The question is this:  is it wrong to propagate bad science and false 
information to secure goals which are ecologically high-minded and
soundly altruistic?  I say YES."

Paul Cherubini


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