Monarch Populations

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  • #12850

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi Everyone – How would the members of this forum who live in New Zealand estimate the Population and status of the Monarch at this time? Is the Butterfly increasing in number or getting more scarce over the years since the Monarch trust came into existance. As I live in the UK and all the Kiwis that I know don’t have much interest in Butterflies it is difficult for me to work out what effect your efforts to Promote this beautiful Butterfly are having in your country. I understand that the Monarch relies on the goodwill of New Zealanders to survive due to the fact that it’s foodplants are mainly grown in peoples gardens.

    Terry

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  • #16116

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi all – Thanks for your replies! I too believe that the fact that the MBNZT exists in the first place can only be beneficial to helping to conserve Monarchs and other Species due to the fact that you are educating and informing people who would otherwise take little notice of Butterflies in general. Don’t worry too much about those who appear willfully ignorant and select information for the bit’s that suit their own agenda, this is a worldwide problem and very common in the UK as is “Passing the buck” where people blame everyone else for the loss of wildlife but conveniently overlook the damage they do themselves, apparently conservation is something other people do and they don’t feel they need to do anything!
    All I can say is MBNZT please! please! please! don’t give up what you are doing it is so important and I would also like to say thank you for all your efforts!

    Terry

    #16106

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    HI Ken – I agree, as you know. I think the majority of people who think the Buddleia is “bad news” have listened to the authorities, who are quick to condemn Buddleia davidii because of its rapid spread through forestry and river banks. The message that has got out there that it is “Buddleia” that is the pest plant — not just the mauve-flowering B. davidii.

    People can be so ignorant, they grab hold of a “bit” of the message, and then ensure that it is passed on. They won’t listen to reason. For instance, the wrong message often comes from gardening centre staff… who have no doubt heard from those who are only telling (or are only aware of) half the story.

    Cheers

    Jacqui

    #16104

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Guys.

    Initially I thought that there was a problem with the number of monarchs that we were seeing in our garden this year, being home for two months over December and January I had plenty of time to observe the Buddleia bush, and for those months there wasn’t much happening.

    However, as the good weather has continued we have noticed a late surge in numbers, in the last week, everyday there has been big numbers, no less than ten at a time and always accompanied by both Admirals.

    They rage in size from very young ones at about 70mm across to large more seasoned ones at about 120mm across, from very pale to almost iridescent bright orange.

    What I have noticed, is that they have slowed down due to the temperature drop, late afternoon has them turning there backs to the sun to get more warmth and once the sun drops of the Buddleia they are gone.

    So, I’m wondering, are the numbers down in the Hutt Valley, or did summer just take a little time getting going? having not observed these butterflies before it’s only my opinion.

    We are fortunate that we have a large Buddleia bush for them to feed on, I remember some six years ago, we stayed at a campsite at Ohiwa near Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty, we had lunch with a family near there and got talking about butterflies in the garden and mentioned that we had this splendid Buddleia, the lady was very terse!, nasty weed she said abruptly, cut it out, we don’t need those sort of weeds in New Zealand, I said that I beg to differ, if we cut it out we wouldn’t see any butterflies in our garden at all, the “weed” stayed and you’ve seen the results of the photographs, some people! A.

    Long live the buddleia!!!

    Ken, Upper Hutt

    #16103

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hello Terry

    Well in my humble opinion, the MBNZT is doing a great amount of good, creating awareness of what Monarchs need. Despite that it seems to have been a bad season for them this year. However (as I said to Prof. Barrie Frost earlier today) this low season this year has only increased the interest that we stimulated, creating more members, more feedback, more activity – which has been beneficial. If we can keep this up, I believe the future for the Monarch and NZ’s other butterflies is looking good.

    Cheers

    Jacqui

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