Government views Monarch Butterfly Releases as a threat to We stern Milkweeds

Paul Cherubini monarch at
Fri Dec 7 12:14:53 EST 2001

Norbert wrote:
> This whole thing is indeed a laughable farce. The USDA should stick to
> agriculture pests in the common sense use of the word and let the USFW
> agency deal with wildlife, including plants. As if the release of monarchs
> at a wedding in New York city has anything to do with milkweed plants in
> Oklahoma or Arizona - what a laugh indeed. 

Ron and Norbert, I laughed too and then I laughed again when I read
that some scientists are urging that new research studies need to be 
carried out to determine whether or not monarchs actually constitute a 
threat to long lived perennial milkweeds.  


Prof. O.R. (Chip) Taylor offered the following comments yesturday
on dplex-l:

"USDA_APHIS is mandated to create appropriate regulations based
 on scientific evidence rather than value judgements, emotions, education, 
economics, or other considerations.

It is up to us to help provide this evidence and to urge that appropriate 
research be done, should evidence be lacking, on a particular
issue - such as whether monarchs are even known to utilize the threatened 
milkweeds as hostplants in OK and AZ. 

Some of the questions we need to ask are:

Do monarchs actually use the species in question as hosts? 

Are monarchs common or rare during the time when these plants 
are pre-senescent (i.e. potentially suitable hosts)?

Does herbivory by monarch larvae, if it occurs, actually constitute a 
threat to long lived perennial milkweeds? "


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