Photos of urban monarch overwintering sites in California
Chris J. Durden
drdn at mail.utexas.edu
Fri Jan 12 11:51:13 EST 2001
. . .
>We are, in fact, playing God, taking over nature's "plan" and this might
>be perfectly fine. We have hardly achieved a consensus on what we want,
>though, and we get too soon old and too late wise.
>I think it is important, on this list, to hear from the extremists as
>well as the middle ground. I think we are enriched by Paul and Neil and
>all the other opinionated, well-informed, cantankerous, cranky and
>delightful leppers. . . . .
>Had you all been consulted, would there now be Cabbage Whites in
If cabbages are permitted, yes, and maybe we need the large white (a
beautiful species) as well.
If cabbages are not permitted, no!
>For my part, I am concerned that we are making the planet into a bad
>place for *people* to live.
>I find that people who are unconcerned by the effect of pesticides on
>their own health are immediately involved when you mention that
>butterflies are killed by Dursban or whatever ... and will make the
>sacrifice for the butterflies that they will not make for their own
>It's a flawed approach, of course, but, like leaping from ice floe to
>ice floe, each one only has to float until you leap to the next one, and
>we are supported by our own impetus.
And this really is the "bottom line"....
>The real problem is overpopulation ... until a plague or war or meteor
>solves it. Or until it turns out that we have achieved critical mass and
>are received into our place among the gods.
>so ... learning to negotiate, to consider other people's views ... not a
>bad way to amuse oneself on a winter's day.
>Seems to me the question we're tapdancing around here is, is the Monarch
>an indicator species, or is it replacing a wide variety of other species
>as habitats are degraded or eliminated.
>It's important because Paul's argument seems to be: of course
>butterflies aren't in trouble; there are plenty of Monarchs. If it's an
>indicator species, that's fine and
>of course he's right.
>If it's replacing all the other little guys,
>I shall now raise my umbrella and hunker down.
Seems obvious that the Monarch is a weed species, low on the
successional chain. The larvae feed on weed species that appear on
disturbed ground early in vegetational succession. It has an impressive
history of colonization of a large part of the world's islands. It hardly
seems in trouble as a species. Now the probability of historic seasonal
clustering in the same places, forever, does seem threatened.
For subscription and related information about LEPS-L visit:
More information about the Leps-l