Monarchs and Monoculture in southern Michigan

Robert Dana robert.dana at dnr.state.mn.us
Wed Aug 24 19:11:14 EDT 2005


Anyone have any data on the number of monarchs tagged by state? It's hard to interpret the data on numbers of returns without this.

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Robert Dana, Ph.D.
MN DNR
Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program
500 Lafayette Rd, Box 25
St. Paul, MN 55155
651 297-2367
Email: robert.dana at dnr.state.mn.us
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>>> Paul Cherubini <monarch at saber.net> 8/19/05 11:59 PM >>>
Stan Gorodenski wrote:
> 
> Strictly in the tradition of scientific discovery through questioning
> all possibilities, although you may have photos of Monarch caterpillars
> and adults that appear to be healthy having completed, or in the process
> of completing, the life cycle from egg to adult on Milkweed by BT corn
> and Roundup ready Soybeans, are they as fertile, fecund, or viable
> enough to make the long journey to Mexico compared to Monarchs 
> not grown near these crops?

Stan, I cannot address your question directly, but I can tell
you that on July 12 on the dplex-list this year Dr. Chip Taylor
wrote that out of a total of 8,190 tag recoveries
at the overwintering sites in Mexico over the past 
many years, the top five states that produced the most
recoveries are: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Texas, and Oklahoma
in that order. 

Specifically, there were:

1,588 tag recoveries in Mexico of monarchs tagged in Iowa
1,550 tag recoveries in Mexico of monarchs tagged in Kansas
1,075 tag recoveries in Mexico of monarchs tagged in Minnesota
  984 tag recoveries in Mexico of monarchs tagged in Texas
  301 tag recoveries in Mexico of monarchs tagged in Oklahoma

Now consider that every spring since the year 2001 more than 
half of the entire landmass of Iowa and central and southern 
Minnesota has been planted in transgenic corn and soybeans.

And also consider that most of the 8,190 tag recoveries
in Mexico were obtained since the year 2001.

In other words, Iowa and Minnesota have consistently
generated a high percentage of tag recoveries in Mexico
over the years, both before (prior to 1996) and after the 
widespread adoption (by the year 2001) of transgenic corn 
and soybeans.

Paul Cherubini
El Dorado, Calif.

 
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