Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saving the Monarch Butterfly‏

From: Ray Smith (smith460@hotmail.com)
Sent:Sat 2/21/15 12:16 PM

Folks,
I wrote to Bill Dunson for his take on planting milkweed here on the Island/SW Fla to possibly help the Monarch butterflies.  His quick response was as follows:
 
“It is a complicated and contentious issue but my answer is no to planting exotic milkweeds which are likely to cause disease problems in  monarchs and cause them to remain in FL longer than they should.  Bill”
 
He then followed up with the attached (and very recent) article on this subject, (CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE) starting on page 5.  It basically details what Bill said above; quoting:
 
“But a new paper shows that well-meaning gardeners might actually be endangering the butterflies’ iconic migration to Mexico. That’s because people have been planting the wrong species of milkweed, thereby increasing the odds of monarchs becoming infected with a crippling parasite.”

It goes on to specify the “tropical” variety as the “bad” milkweed, whereas there is a specific “native” variety that is considered good (to plant) for these beautiful creatures.  And suggesting that any “tropical” be cut back routinely to prevent Monarch attraction and possible parasitic infection.  The article is pretty definitive.
 
So, do we want to publish this on our PIE website?  Do the Islanderscapers want to tackle this subject/inform our residents?  Or just ignore as “just not important?”  I trust not the last thought.

Ray

Sent: Monday, February 16, 2015 8:21 PM
Subject: Fwd: PRBS Meeting & NL
 
 
See this newsletter for an article about the monarch milkweed issue
 
Few things are simple in life and this is one of the complicated ones
 
Bill

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