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

Mark Walker MWalker at
Tue Dec 11 10:45:48 EST 2001

It's reports like this that help build Paul's credibility - regardless of

When political parties embark on an agenda, they search for arguments that
support their cause and then look for any supporting evidence.  No one would
call this science.

It would seem that there are some who have chosen to adamantly oppose
warm-fuzzy butterfly releases and the underlying mostly grass roots industry
that supports them.  It would seem as though this interest group has reached
out for any argument that equates some environmental hazard to the
unregulated release of butterflies (specifically Monarchs).  We're told that
the releases will dilute or contaminate the gene pool.  We're told that the
releases will interfere with the east vs. west migration.  We're told that
the releases will threaten potentially endangered plant species.  What else?

Here's a new argument:  Unregulated releases might produce overwintering
populations in urban areas not previously chosen by Monarchs.  These
overwintering populations will interfere with normal commerce in such areas,
creating distractions and unwanted environmental controls.  Squished bugs on
windshields and radiator grills will be unsightly and might affect engine
performance.  Overwintering populations may displace other Monarchs who
would normally be heading for alternate destinations.  This could cause
serious economic impact on towns who depend on the returning Monarchs.

Oh, that's right.  These aren't environmental concerns - they're people
concerns.  Scratch that one.

For crying out loud - at least the releasers are choosing bugs that already
have a global presence.  It's not like we're releasing Coppers,
Checkerspots, or Fritillaries.  I can't for the life of me, though, figure
out what the underlying agenda might be.  Could it possibly have something
to do with ego and name exposure?  Monarchs make news, and Monarch "experts"
do also.  Hmmmmmmm.

I'm as environmentally concerned as the next person.  What I think Paul has
done repeatedly here is present evidence NOT of how harmless pesticides are
or how harmless butterfly releases are, but rather of how biased,
unscientific, and hypocritical the arguments can be - and how bizarre it is
that they be so thoroughly embraced.

Mark Walker
Oceanside, CA

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Paul Cherubini [mailto:monarch at]
> Sent: Friday, December 07, 2001 12:50 AM
> To: LEPS-L at
> Subject: Government views Monarch Butterfly Releases as a threat to
> Western Milkweeds
> Thursday December 6 3:02 AM ET
> New Rules May Hurt Butterfly Releases
> By PAUL RECER, AP Science Writer
> WASHINGTON (AP) - It's been a moment of awe for thousands of
> schoolchildren: A cage is opened and a brand new Monarch 
> butterfly flashes its
> bright orange and black wings and flutters into the wild.


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