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By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 22 November 2015

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Art Shapiro High Sierra Butterfly Identification by Common Name


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High Sierra Butterfly Identification & Resources


High Sierra Nevada All Living Things Forum



 The whole web of life is being distorted by the  changing character of the seasons on and around the the vastness of the North Pacific Ocean.

 The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is a significant element in the complex relationship of the North Pacific Ocean weather patterns with the North American continent.

 The relationship between North Pacific weather patterns and the High Sierra is vitally important for the vast overlapping webs of social and natural life depending on bountiful and predictable weather patterns.
These predictable and bountiful resources no longer exist on their own, in Nature, nor in the context of the vast populations to overwhelm Nature that we have spawned.

We have overwhelmed Nature and its resources fundamentally and on its face..

This overlap has proven destructive for the natural web of life, butterflies especially.

Our local changes are linked to broader regional changes in wind direction and temperatures that influence all Natural living things near and far, and especially the butterflies who travel so far.

Our favorite source for fundamental information, insight, and references about High Sierra butterflies is Doc Shapiro's website for his multi-decade project of studying Sierra Butterflys.
Below we collect and store butterfly news and information we encounter in the popular and science press.

Please post up any butterfly news you encounter!





July 11


Big Ohio Study Matches Global Butterfly & Insect Declines

Decades-Long Butterfly Study Shows Common Species on the Decline




June 25


A Grim Report: Looking Backward -- 2018

Art Shapiro 2018 California-High Sierra Butterfly Assessment, PDF.

Bad Year for Butterflies
"It was a terrible—perhaps even catastrophic--butterfly year at all elevations and no, we don’t know why."

Art Shapiro Butterfly Site




June 24



No Domesticated Replacements for Declining Wild Monarchs

Direct to Research
Monarch Butterflies Bred in Captivity may Lose the Ability to Migrate, study finds,
University of Chicago, June 24, 2019.


Not Migratory
"...butterflies purchased from a commercial breeder did not fly in a southward direction, even in offspring raised outdoors..."

"...North American monarch population has declined 90% over the last two decades."

"Monarchs breed during the summer and autumn, the autumn generation being the one that migrates."

Domesticated Monarchs
"These monarchs have been brought into captivity and prevented from migrating for many generations, and they have genetically lost migration. It's a microcosm for what's happening naturally."

"We can't point to a single genetic change that did it because there are lots of them," he said. "But we think somewhere buried in the genome are changes that have broken it."

Not Helping
"It looks like buying monarchs to raise and release doesn't contribute to the migratory population, and raising them indoors probably isn't helpful either."

Some Help
"If you want to grow milkweed in your garden and raise monarchs you find around your house, just don't take them inside. If you keep them outdoors, they should be totally fine."




March 25



German Butterflies Going Down Hard

Butterfly Numbers Down by Two Thirds




March 19



Understanding the Complexity of Monarch Environmental Engagement

When it comes to Monarchs, Fall Migration Matters




January 3



Alternative Migration Strategies Part of Monarch Decline?

Fewer monarch butterflies are reaching their overwintering destination





November 12 



Direct to Article

European network of protected areas, 'Natura 2000', has not yet been able to stop the decline of butterflies in Germany

Fallen through the net?
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, December 12, 2018.



November 9, 2018


Long Disaster tied to Glyphosate & Climate Disrupting Milkweed

Florida Monarch Butterflies dropped 80 percent since 2005




June 25, 2018



Segment of Western Monarch Migration Measured

Long Fliers: One Generation's Part?




 April 3


Monarch Survival Strategies

Dependent on Climate-Controlled Chemical Connection




High Sierra Butterfly Status, 2016

Setting the Scene

Doc Shapiro's Butterfly Report, 2016, PDF,
"It was a terrible year in the Sierra, marked by low numbers of both species and
individuals everywhere, with many things either not seen at all or in drastically-
reduced numbers." 

"...the Sierra, where the butterfly fauna is in free fall. And we can’t blame that free fall on habitat change, or pesticides. It HAS to be climate- (or at least weather-) driven."



September 8, 2017

Bye Bye Butterfly

Monarch butterflies disappearing from western North America,
WSU, September 7, 2017.




March 14, 2017

Butterfly Mystery
Report: Milkweed losses may not fully explain monarch butterfly declines,



Research into extreme weather effects may  explain recent butterfly decline,
 University of East Anglia, October 30,  2016.

Monarch butterflies fluttering back to Orange County, but populations struggle,
Oct 31, 2015, OC Register.  

Beyond Honeybees: Now Wild Bees and Butterflies May Be in Trouble,
Wired, May 6, 2014


Also See

Doc Shapiro's website

About Doc Shapiro, his research.

All News

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Post up your observations, information, and insights about butterflies below.




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