OOPS, monarch tagging II
acynor at fullerton.edu
Tue Oct 10 12:55:39 EDT 2000
I can sympathize, many individuals do not realize that these creatures are
delicate and easily hurt by handling. Heck go to a butterfly house and check out
Ron Gatrelle wrote:
> Why do they put the SEND button next to the SAVE button. This was sent way
> beofre its time.
> So where was I... First lets correct the typos. Now.
> We have met the enemy and it is us. Several years ago (actually probably
> a couple decades) there was an article in either the Lepidopterists News or
> its Journal entitled, "Are We Studying Our Butterflies To Death." I don't
> remember who wrote it, but it was someone in California. The article was
> about how some research team or Fed/St wildlife entity had conducted a
> catch, tag, release project on one of the endangered subspecies of an
> Euphilotes blue. (These are the tiny little blues less than a quarter inch
> in expanse.) The problem the author had is that these little insects are so
> small it is virtually impossible to Tag or mark one without doing major
> damage to it. Damage that would either severely limit its normal functions
> due to broken legs or antennae, and thus greatly shorten its adult life. He
> was also concerned about trampling of immatures and host plants in the small
> habitat area.
> Now I am well aware that monarchs have very tough thoratic segments. But
> I have never found anything as tough as a little kid. I mean my kids could
> break anything. I have often wondered how much damage is actually done to
> monarchs in the tagging process by kids and untrained adults alike. Just
> because they are able to fly away does not mean they are fine. Especially
> fine enough to make a trip to Mexico. Consider the following.
> Two years ago I conducted a workshop in North Carolina to train US Fish
> & Wildlife and Forest Service personnel on the identification of Phyciodes
> batesii maconensis adults, host, and habitat. These were the top
> professionals in N.C. Forest service district managers and F&WL regional
> endangered species experts. One of these professionals had brought along a
> friend of theirs who was an "experienced" butterfly watcher and his teen age
> When we got to the habitat area the butterfly watcher caught a
> maconensis. It was about ten minutes later that the group gathered around
> the man to see if he had actually found one. When I got there I just shook
> my head and kept my mouth shut. The specimen (a gravid female) had been so
> handled that it only had one leg left. OH! it could still fly -- but it was
> dead. As I began to take it one forestry person said, "oh, you're not going
> to kill it?" (I guess she assumed this because I am a collector and not just
> a watcher.) I said, " No, I'm going to take it home and rear them and return
> the live larvae to the area."
> So I brought it home (with their permission). I cared for the poor
> little thing the best I could. But with no legs to taste with, it refused to
> eat. And with no legs to grasp with, it laid no eggs. That specimens was
> MUTILATED as well as Killed by the butterfly watcher -- even though it
> perished 3 days later. I wrote the Forest Service person and informed them
> of the outcome. I also made the strong recommendation that not only should
> collecting be prohibited in areas where sensitive species exist but also
> "NET AND RELEASE" BY BUTTERFLY WATCHERS. When I, as a collector, "take" and
> individual it is "killed" quickly and put to scientific use. I don't even
> like to go out with watchers any more because it just grieves me so much to
> see them net, mutilate, and release specimens. It is amazing how upon the
> release of the specimen -- when it only "flies" a few feet or INCHES and
> lands -- I often here them say, "Oh, look how tame it is." NO it is not
> tame, It is HURT! IT IS ALREADY DYING. I not only think we sutdy butterflies
> to death, but some are watching them to death.
> I for one have no interest in watching a class of 5th graders tag
> monarchs. I appreciate the intent and intrest stimualtion, but I thank God
> I'm not one of those monarchs who gets tagged -- I like having legs.
> --- Original Message -----
> From: "Ron Gatrelle" <rgatrelle at home.com>
> To: "Leps-l" <leps-l at lists.yale.edu>
> Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2000 11:47 AM
> Subject: More on monarch tagging
> > To all interested parties.
> > We have met the enemy and it is us. Several years ago (actually
> > a couple decades) there was an article in either the Lepidopterists News
> > its Journal entitled, "Are We Studying Our Butterflies To Death." I don't
> > remember who wrote it, but it was someone in California. The article was
> > about how some research team or Fed/St wildlife entity had conducted a
> > catch, tag, release project on one of the endangered subspecies of an
> > Euphilotes blue. (These are the tiny little blues less than a quarter inch
> > in expanse.) The problem the author had is that these little insects are
> > small it is virtually impossible to Tag or mark one without doing major
> > damage to it. Damage that would either severely limit its normal functions
> > due to broken legs or antennae, and thus greatly shorten its adult life.
> > was also concerned about trampling of immatures and host plants in the
> > small habitat area.
> > Now I am well aware that monarchs have very tough thoratic segments.
> > I have never found anything as tough as a little their legs and antennae
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