Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: Monarch Watch Bring Back the Monarch

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Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Oct 20, 2013 5:17 PM CST
A lot of info here. And it's not just the Monarch, Queens use milkweed and their populations are affected also.
http://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/campaign/the...
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Nov 22, 2013 7:21 PM CST
This article is awesome...and sad at the same time!
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/24/sunday-review/the-year-the...
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
[Last edited by LindaTX8 - Nov 22, 2013 7:22 PM (+)]
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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Nov 22, 2013 7:55 PM CST
There was an article in our local paper, and I'm sorry, I don't have a link to it… But it said that we should completely cut back our milkweeds that were still blooming, to 'force' the migration of the Monarchs that were 'holding out' here in NE. Fl. I'm guessing that due to the change in weather patterns? Climate change? We are still seeing the milkweeds blooming. And this is causing a problem in the migration...

I'm interested to hear your opinion!

Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Nov 23, 2013 2:00 PM CST
Don't cut down the milkweeds that have eggs and caterpillars, however! Personally, I think the Monarchs don't time their migration according to the availability of host plants. Some experts have mentioned day length and temperatures inducing migration.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Nov 23, 2013 2:50 PM CST
Hi, I found the article…pasting this Q.&A.
And no, I've not cut mine…yet..

Q.I am still seeing monarch butterflies every once in a while in my butterfly garden. How long can we expect to see them?

A.It’s not unusual to see monarchs in the area right up until Christmas. However, those of us who try to coax monarchs to live in our yards are faced with a new challenge.

For several years, we have been seeing monarchs from late summer that failed to emerge from pupation. The chrysalid develops many dark spots, all of them spores of the protozoan O. elektroscirrha. It is one of many normal, natural predators of caterpillars. We also have to deal with tachinid wasps and other predatory insects.

Jaret Daniels, eminent butterfly researcher for the University of Florida, says that by harboring the butterflies late in the season, we are actually assisting in the spread of these and other caterpillar predators. As the season goes on, the predator populations grow and, if we “feed” them caterpillars, we are helping their populations to increase.

Daniels recommends cutting back milkweed plants to the ground at this time of the year to encourage the butterflies to complete their seasonal migration. From this area, monarchs go south to South Florida, or to the mountains of Mexico. If they go to Mexico, they will enter a semi-hibernation, slowing their body mechanisms down in the chilly mountain temperatures at a 10,000-foot elevation and hanging onto trees waiting for spring. If they go to South Florida, they will continue to breed, lay eggs and die as they do all summer long here.

While his recommendation was tough for me to swallow, it is better that the caterpillar die than emerge as a crippled butterfly. If cutting off the food source reduces the incidence of that happening, it’s the right thing to do.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Nov 23, 2013 6:25 PM CST
I've heard that theory before. And in that other publication I read it in, it was clearly stated that it's a theory and not yet proven. Even if it is proven soon, I don't think it would apply to my area. The article I read said something about year-round Monarch populations in inappropriate areas being the problem. We only see Monarchs in spring and fall, never in the winter or summer. No fall Monarchs stay around in winter and no spring Monarchs stay around in the summer. Actually, this spring I personally only saw one Monarch, no caterpillars at all. I saw much more Monarchs in the fall, but only saw a few on my place and found a single caterpillar, which I raised and released. So no hordes of Monarchs crowded around infecting each other and no out-of-season Monarchs occur locally. All of my native milkweed drop their foliage in winter, going dormant anyway. Almost all of the Tropical Milkweed drop their leaves also, and some die after severe freezes. Maybe it's different where you live.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: BrendaVR
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
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BrendaVR
Nov 24, 2013 1:49 PM CST
terrafirma said:There was an article in our local paper, and I'm sorry, I don't have a link to it… But it said that we should completely cut back our milkweeds that were still blooming, to 'force' the migration of the Monarchs that were 'holding out' here in NE. Fl. I'm guessing that due to the change in weather patterns? Climate change? We are still seeing the milkweeds blooming. And this is causing a problem in the migration...

I'm interested to hear your opinion!



Oh my what a crazy idea! Totally NOT going to work at all!!!! Whoever said that did not do any research or does not have the best interest of the monarchs (or milkweed) in mind! In my area the milkweed has stopped blooming LONG (sometimes months) before the Monarch migrate...ugh. Certainly my opinion the milkweed blooming has nothing whatsoever to do with the migration.

I'm not an expert but there is lots of research done on the Monarchs migration. It is my understanding that the migration is more based on weather and daylight triggers...not weather the milkweeds are still blooming! The adults feed on hundreds of other NECTAR sources on their migration...if there is milkweed they will continue to lay eggs on the way. This is an essential part of the migration and can build up the population.

Edit: I didn't read all the other posts. Apologies for jumping a bit to fast. (removed part of my rant now that I read the other posts)

If this Jaret Daniels has done extensive research that backs up this finding it would be news to me (its contradictory to the other research I've heard). But the Florida climate is also very different from the Ontario climate so maybe they have different life cycle to the milkweed plants there.
~insert pause here~

Ok I took a pause and looked this guy up. Looks like his recommendation applies ONLY to the non-native Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias currasivica)!! And only in the very southern extremes (the last legs of migration) (can I make that triple bolded?) From his article:
Because Tropical Milkweed Asclepias currasivica grows throughout the year (weather permitting), it can enable Monarchs to continue breeding well into the fall or winter, disrupting their normal migratory cycle. Prolonged breeding can also foster higher than normal infection rates by a lethal protozoan parasite, Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, or OE for short. In fact, recent research indicates that such year-round resources could prolong exposure to parasites, elevate infection prevalence, and even favor more virulent parasite genotypes.

The simple answer to this potential problem is “go native.” An abundant and diverse supply of native milkweed species will contribute to a an abundant healthy population of Monarch butterflies. "
.

Full article can be seen here: http://www.floridanativenurseries.org/info/native-news/nativ...

So I stand my my opinion; cutting down our native milkweeds is only detrimental.
I also would like to see more research done on this before it was put into practice.
If we had no holes in our leaves we would have no butterflies!
[Last edited by BrendaVR - Nov 24, 2013 2:16 PM (+)]
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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Nov 24, 2013 6:32 PM CST
I agree I agree I agree
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Dec 6, 2013 11:34 AM CST
I'm so glad that I did not, and will not heed the info in that article….This is what I found while weeding this morning! Dec. 6th! Currently 80* F.
Thumb of 2013-12-06/terrafirma/c329eb

Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Dec 7, 2013 11:39 AM CST
Some really good info about a project to reforest some deforested areas of Mexico, which helps the Monarchs. I love their approach, because with that project, the people of Mexico are not the problem...they're the solution!
http://www.lchpp.org/
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Dec 19, 2013 9:04 PM CST
Native milkweed seeds for Monarchs available. Asclepias amplexicaulis (Sand Milkweed or Clasping Milkweed) Very, very difficult to come by this seed.

I posted about it in the Wildflowers forum but thought I would put a note in here about it with a link:
The thread "Asclepias amplexicaulis seed available" in Wildflowers forum
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
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terrafirma
Dec 19, 2013 9:10 PM CST
Found this little one today! Glad that he/she is making it before the 'really' cold weather sets in!
Thumb of 2013-12-20/terrafirma/4a3666

Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Dec 19, 2013 9:15 PM CST
Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

Don't you just love that gold on them? It always fascinates me.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Dec 20, 2013 6:05 AM CST
Ann - thanks for bringing it over here.
I don't follow the wildflowers thread.....yet.
Very busy with my "grass eradication and hardscape" in my back yard.
But I AM interested in wildflowers and certainly monarchs.
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Dec 20, 2013 6:35 AM CST
You're welcome Critter!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
Rabbit Keeper Bee Lover Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader Bulbs Echinacea Irises
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crittergarden
Dec 21, 2013 1:17 AM CST
Happy Solstice everyone!
The sun has begun its return to us.
With apologies to our friends from the Southern Hemisphere - In only 6 months will begin its return to you again.
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon young male
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Gleni
Dec 21, 2013 4:34 AM CST
Oh no! Come back.
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon young male
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
Image
Gleni
Dec 21, 2013 4:44 AM CST
Good news for Bush Stone-curlews. The parent birds (front) in my avatar have just hatched their second lot of two bubs this season. They haven't brought them down to me yet. The young are really scaredy-cats at this stage: hence telephoto.

Their older brother and sister (back ones in avatar) are still about and recognizable.
Thumb of 2013-12-21/Gleni/b67c48

Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
Rabbit Keeper Bee Lover Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader Bulbs Echinacea Irises
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crittergarden
Dec 21, 2013 5:31 AM CST
Gleni said:Oh no! Come back.


Every 6 months, Gleni, every 6 months! Smiling
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/

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