April 19, 2008


 

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Protection sought for plummeting monarch butterfly population

By Jean Bartlett, San Jose Mercury News

Recently two Ocean Shore Elementary School teachers, second grade teacher Fran Quartini and third grade teacher Sheila Gamble-Dorn, took their respective students on a field trip to the Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz. This is an annual classroom visit for both teachers and each marveled at the sight of the beautiful orange, black and white-winged creatures who settled by the thousands in the Preserve’s grove of eucalyptus trees — a safe place for the monarchs to roost until spring. Each teacher also expressed strong concern over the protection of North America’s most well-known butterfly. Their concerns are warranted.

On August 26, 2014, The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety as co-lead petitioners joined by the Xerces Society (a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat), and renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower, filed a legal petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking Endangered Species Act protection for monarch butterflies. Their petition goes on to explain that the monarchs have declined by more than 90 percent in under 20 years. The petition additionally states that during that same 20 year period, these “once-common iconic orange and black butterflies may have lost more than 165 million acres of habitat.

Read more at MercuryNews.com


Gardening to Help Monarch Butterflies? Plant Natives.

By Chris Clarke, KCET

With the recent declines in numbers of monarch butterflies leading to the popular insect becoming a candidate for listing as an endangered species, more and more gardeners are thinking about growing milkweed. Milkweed, after all, if the only kind of plant monarch caterpillars can eat, and so growing milkweed in your garden means you’re providing monarchs with a nursery and larder for their young.

But there’s a problem: there are about 140 known species of milkweed, some of them potentially invasive in California wildlands. In fact, not all milkweeds are of equal benefit to monarch butterflies. There’s even some thought that one popular tropical milkweed may be harming North American monarchs by changing their migration habits.

Fortunately, there are fifteen species of California native milkweed that gardeners can choose from to give monarchs a helping hand. Not all of them are readily available in nurseries, but with a little searching you should be able to find at least one species appropriate for your part of the state.

Read more at KCET.org


US government considers placing monarch butterfly on endangered list

By Expositor Staff, The Manitoulin Expositor

The New Year begins with a glimmering of hope for the embattled ranks of the monarch butterfly, the amazing multi-coloured insect whose continent spanning migration epitomizes warm hazy summer days for most North Americans, with the announcement that the US Fish and Wildlife Service is responding to a petition from Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, the Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower by conducting a one-year status review on monarch butterflies as to whether they warrant protection under the US Endangered Species Act.

Read mroe at Manitoulin.ca


Endangered species status review ordered for monarch butterfly

By Janell Thomas, Farm Futures

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct a status review of the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act, it said late last month, in response to a petition from several environmental groups.

The FWS says many monarchs migrate between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, logging journeys of more than 3,000 miles. But habitat loss – particularly the loss of the monarch caterpillar’s only food source, the milkweed – has made the journey more perilous, FWS said. Pesticides also have affected mortality, it added.

The agency will determine if an ESA listing is warranted through a 60-day public information period that will close March 2.

Read more at FarmFutures.com


The REAL Best Books of 2014

By Responsible Eating and Living

The REAL picks for 2014 consist of an eclectic list of 10 books that represent the wide reach of our mission here at Responsible Eating And Living, educating the public about the health and environmental benefits of transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle. Each book is outstanding in its own right. They are listed here simply in alphabetical order and are not ranked in any way. They are all REAL winners!

Read more at ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com