Subspecies and protection

Paul Cherubini cherubini at
Sun Oct 15 00:15:22 EDT 2000

Kenelm Philip wrote:
> Trying vainly to recall more details from that paper. I had an impression
> that the climatic conditions in the gullies may have been ephemeral. I
> also recall clearly an observation that the overwintering in the sites
> referred to in the paper was doomed--because the shrubs were low, and
> various mammals would turn up and gobble the Monarchs right off the
> shrubs.

I have photos of the Saline Valley monarchs taken Jan. 27, 1990 at which
time the colonies were still intact and the butterflies in excellent
condition despite the fact that the leaves on the deciduous elm trees
at one site had fallen off and the butterflies had nothing to cluster on 
except bare twigs.

A couple years later year I visited the colonies in early February
and found this same situation, plus the butterflies were mating.
Therefore, these sites are genuine overwintering sites and the butterflies
do survive well as long as there is not a killing freeze (which happens
about once every five years).

Paul Cherubini, Placerville, Calif.

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