No more monarchs...

Originally posted by Pollux V
The most common, gorgeous butterfly is gone.
I don't know... while it might be true, that statement seems kind of alarmist in nature. The article actually starts out stating that the data for population numbers is wrong, so how are we to know what the total effect will be?


If the populations that fly north each year from Mexico were to disappear, the mysteries of that migration might never be solved, but I’m not sure that the species as a whole is in danger because other, smaller populations of monarchs that did not migrate to Mexico could be found elsewhere, such as in the western United States.

A rather rational view from a group that is concerned with monarch conservation posted, in part:
The January freeze prompts the question: How important is catastrophic mortality to the overall dynamics of the monarch population? Historically, extremes in the weather are part of the environmental background in which monarchs evolved. In general, species which occasionally experience high death rates due to catastrophic mortality have high birth rates and therefore the capacity to recover their numbers when conditions return to normal. The monarch fits this pattern.


In retrospect, it appears to be fortunate that the January freeze occurred this year, a year in which the overwintering population was robust (about 100 million butterflies). Even though estimated mortality due to the January freeze is extremely high (>80%) the number of surviving butterflies may be sufficient to recolonize the breeding areas without a long-term depression of the population. Had this storm occurred last season when the overwintering population was at an all time low (28.3 million), it is likely that it would have taken the population many years to return to normal levels of 60-120 million overwintering butterflies. (full text here)
The report I posted was from CNN but I saw a quick segment on CBS. They said that the population would "never be able to recover."
Originally posted by Pollux V
I saw a quick segment on CBS. They said that the population would "never be able to recover."
Ahhhh... mainstream media. Be the first to report it whether you've gotten all the facts or not. :)

Pollux V ...

Who cares?

They didn't taste that good anyway.

By the way, what's happening to the rest of the butterflys?
Hardly saw any last Summer.

Take care ;)
Last edited:
That is true. Last year supply was low in my neck of the woods. This year we plan to plant several bags of wild flower seeds on our property hoping to attract a few more. Our bird supply has declines sharply. We have 5 feeders always full but not much action. But we got a lot of grasshoppers last year that ate up my roses. The ecosystem is getting off balance.
;) Somehow I think that the absence of pretty butterflies and the newfound prevelance of ugly white ones suggests a new trend- global whitewashing. The poor, beautiful, monarchs are still there, encased in a shell of bland indifference that offers no comfort, no suggestions, and no hope. Perhaps the royalty of the insect world has been vindicted from its collective ego of flaunt.

I never liked the white ones. They were always there. By the barn, under the flowerless Wisteria tree, in the bamboo forest by the dried-up stream. You saw them, there they were, so you could see me in the butterfiles.

When whiteness came, it came in the form of all-encompassing, overpowering blinding heat. And so with it came the over-powering collapse of color in the favor of white butterflies.

So with it came the drying of the stream, the cutting of the bamboo, the moving of one house to another, the sudden prevalence of tarmac, hot warm asphalt where ego-obsessed young girls tell me "I'm so courageous." With the blinding heat of the absence of color came the sudden cutting of my childhood cord.
That's Mulish Minianimalism for you- meaning (surprisingly relevant) from mindless, ego-ridden gibbersih. WE should all embrace Mulism as the route out from our collective garbage dump of ego.
I don't see what's wrong with the white or black ones, they're all just as much fun to chase through fields of sharp tall grass, all the while hoping you won't trip on a dirt hump in the ground and stand up with not only cuts and bruises all over your body but tiny slugs leaving mucus trails on your shirts and jeans.

But monarchs have quite the color, and I believe that I saw plenty of them last spring and early summer. After that I don't really recall witnessing the flight of a monarch.
;) Hmm...maybe it's because after Summer comes fall, then Winter, etc. They do tend to fly away when the cold weather comes.

I can remember once being in the woods behind my house and I saw this gigantic blue butterfly- I must have been 8 or 9, and it just seemed so out of place, as if it came from behind the trees when no one was awake...I really am happy with the absolute normal humdrum things, I never needed to see that blue butterfly. But I did, and I obviously remembered it.

What does it all mean?
Butterflies are very unique insects.
So what is the priority for them?
Blue over white, Monarch over Black?
Butterlies are here, they will be for a long time.
It's a shame the Monarch may die off pretty soon.
But that blue one- it's coming back.