Poor butterflies :(( and a question for some people

David Webster david.h.webster at ns.sympatico.ca
Tue Sep 26 13:46:59 EDT 2000

Dear John and All:                            Sept 26, 2000
    This may be just an ancedotal account but, over the last 50 years in Kings
County, Nova Scotia, where I have lived most of my 65 years, there has been a
dramatic degradation of habitat.
    In conjunction with this degradation, many wild plants and animals have
become less common, with the exception of those "weedy" species (e.g. crows,
racoons, ragweed, house flies, etc.) which thrive in the wake of human activity.
    Of course there are spikes in some populations. Mourning Cloaks are abundant
this year. But those butterfly meadows which used to be mowed in August are now
grazed all summer. The ponds which once had an abundance of frogs and painted
turtles are now just dry dimples in an overgrazed meadow. Those acres of shopping
mall parking lot are not especially high in biological productivity.
    And unfortunately there are some people who continue to believe that reliable
natural history information can be obtained only by official surveys, in which
data of recent years is used as the baseline.

Yours truly, David Webster, Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada

John Acorn wrote:

> Jonathan and Fellow Lepsters,
> In my opinion (and I hear this comment often as well) when lay people say
> that butterflies were once super-common, what they are remembering is a time
> when the Painted Ladies were invading by the zillions-- something that
> happens in Canada once every ten years or so.  I hear the same thing from
> people with bird feeders-- one winter they get hordes of winter finches
> (during what ornithologists call an irruption), and from then on they assume
> that the birds have all died off.  This, in my opinion, has more to do with
> human psychology than with population ecology, and I really don't think
> these ancedotal accounts are a reliable source of natural history
> information.
> John Acorn
> Edmonton, Canada
> ----------
> >From: "Jonathan Sylvestre" <josylvestre at sympatico.ca>
> >To: leps-l at lists.yale.edu
> >Subject: Poor butterflies :(( and a question for some people
> >Date: Mon, Sep 25, 2000, 5:00 PM
> >
> >This weekend, I made a butterflies exhibit at Villeroy, Quebec, Canada.
> >Nearly 3000-4000 visitors came and in those visitors, at least 50, maybe 100
> >asked me this question :
> >
> >"Did you remark that butterflies are more rarer while the years pass ? When
> >I was young there was hundred of butterflies every where near the house, in
> >the fields, near woods.. but now I don't see butterflies very often even if
> >im still leaving far of cities"
> >
> >I heard such thing during all the weekend... Off course it the same as my
> >observations, but im surprise that average people that don't really know
> >butterflies remark the decline of butterflies..
> >
> >Pollution, destruction of habitats, forest, field, rivers, bog, etc..
> >urbanisation, .. are the causes...  that was the answer I gave.. but when
> >people asked me what we can do.. the only thing I was able to say is that
> >they can make a little garden too feed butterflies and their larva.. but
> >that will not save all the butterflies they respond me...
> >
> >So what can each people to help butterflies and moth is my question.. any
> >answer ?
> >
> >If butterflies are an indicator of the nature health..  poor children...
> >
> >
> >have a nice day anyway
> >
> >Jonathan Sylvestre
> >josylvestre at sympatico.ca
> >http://fly.to/lepidoptera
> >
> >
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