Do Monarchs need Paul Cherubini?

Paul Cherubini monarch at
Sun Apr 21 02:54:11 EDT 2002

Pat Foley wrote:

> This list is dedicated I think to the discussion of Lepidoptera.
> But if people  on this list use email pseudonyms and are paid 
> to take certain positions, then we are being scammed. You don't
> care about this?

No Pat, I have never used email pseudonyms on this list or accepted 
money from butterfly breeders (or other commercial interests) to do 
public relations, "education" or the equivalent in their interest.  Nor
have I ever been offered money for such purposes.

> And don't you think that overpopulation, habitat degradation, 
> resource over-exploitation and biodiversity loss are serious 
> problems? If you think they are problems, why do you attack 
> the people who are trying to find solutions to the problems?

Pat, sometimes monarch scientists and conservationists do
not identify scientifically legitimate problems or overstate and 
exaggerate the problems creating unjustified public worry and 
concern. All I do is explain why the concerns or claims 
may not have a legitimate scientific basis. And I try to use 
photographs or scientific data or modeling to make my points. 

For example, in his latest annual newsletter, Dr. Orley (Chip)
Taylor wrote the following in regard to the Chivati monarch
overwintering site in Mexico:

"Chivati is a severely deforested area near the monarch 
overwintering sites. This site was formerly a major roosting
site for monarchs."

I think the casual reader would conclude a major overwintering
site in Mexico had been destroyed by loggers. A very 
serious and worrisome problem indeed (if true).

But the fact is the Chivati mountain continues to support
a small to medium sized overwintering site just as it always 
has since scientists began monitoring the site 23 years ago. 
In fact, just a few weeks ago Chip Taylor posted the official 
Mexican government monarch overwintering site census figures
for the winter of 2001-2002.The Chivati colony (Los Trozos) was 
measured at 0.42 hectares in size (= 4,200,000 butterflies) and 
148 trees were covered with butterflies. Back in the1980's there 
were years when this colony was much smaller than 0.42 hectares 
in size.

Also, the Chivati mountain was primarily deforested by forest
fires, not loggers  Big chunks of forest are still intact which the 
butterflies are still using 

Paul Cherubini
Placerville, Calif.


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