Florida Monarch Butterflies dropped 80 percent since 2005

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 09 November 2018


Long Disaster tied to Human's Glyphosate & Climate Effects Disrupting Milkweed

Florida monarch butterfly populations have dropped 80 percent since 2005,
Florida Museum of Natural History, November 8. 2018.


Radical Decline
"A 37-year survey of monarch populations in North Central Florida shows that caterpillars and butterflies have been declining since 1985 and have dropped by 80 percent since 2005."

"...decrease parallels monarchs' dwindling numbers in their overwintering grounds in Mexico."

Milkweed Connection
"This study shows the tight connection between monarchs and milkweed and highlights very dramatic losses in abundance in Florida that further confirm the monarch is declining."

Herbicide Glyphosate & Milkweed
"...shrinking native milkweed populations and a boost in glyphosate use in the Midwest are part of the problem."

"...is lethal to milkweed, the monarchs' host plant."

Corporate Monopoly Killing Monarchs
"A broad pattern is that 95 percent of corn and soybean products grown in the U.S. are Roundup Ready crops that resist glyphosate..That has a national impact. What's really needed are patches of native vegetation and nectar sources without pesticides. It's not just for monarchs but all pollinators."

Monarch Man
"Lincoln Brower...who died earlier this year...team examined milkweed plants for caterpillars and captured adult butterflies for 37 years, a period spanning more than 140 generations of monarchs."

Milkweed Vital for Young Monarchs
His teams found that, "...monarchs' springtime departure from Mexico is timed to coincide with optimal growth of milkweed in the southeastern U.S. While adult monarch butterflies can feed from a variety of plants, their young depend on milkweed as their sole source of nutrition, storing up the plant's toxins to ward off predators."

"He really was the grand old man of monarchs...Nobody has done more for monarchs."

"...his first trip to the fir forests in Mexico where the butterflies spend the winter in 1977. In the 1980s, Brower worked with the Mexican government to protect these forests from deforestation."

It's Important
"...just over 2 percent of eggs survive to become fully grown caterpillars."

Climate-Controlled Milkweed
"...must time their arrival in the U.S. within a three-week window...an impressive feat for insects with lifespans between six and eight weeks."

"This delicate matchup could be disrupted by climate change, which can skew plants' springtime schedules."

"Since it's such tight timing, it would be devastating to the monarch."

Correct Milkweed Important, too...
"Asclepias curassavica, or tropical milkweed, is a commercialized, non-native tropical species that has become popular with growers...can become an "ecological trap" for monarchs, coaxing them into breeding in unusual areas during the winter months"

"Florida is home to about 21 native species of milkweed."

"...Asclepias incarnata, also called swamp milkweed, or Asclepias tuberosa, commonly known as butterflyweed. Asclepias humistrata, or pinewoods milkweed, is also common throughout northern Florida and essential to monarch recolonization."



Monarch Research

Monarch Survival Strategies Dependent on Climate-Controlled Chemical Connection


Western Monarch Butterfly Migration Measured: Long Fliers




More on the Monarch Decline & Milkweed Connection:

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November 2018 News of Man & Nature





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Florida Monarch Butterflies dropped decreased 80 percent since 2005


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