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Old 06-25-2019, 08:02 AM   #1
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Default Hand-reared Monarchs Don't Migrate

According to the article, as a whole, most hand-raised monarchs do not migrate, some make it, but the majority fly in random directions instead of heading south.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/...I4iBXByd6kecw4
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:46 AM   #2
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Nice find! It's good to see some research that confirms what most scientists have suspected for a long time - butterfly farms do more harm than good. Comparing butterfly farm raised monarchs to wild monarchs is a lot like comparing farm raised mallard ducks to wild mallard ducks. And according to the research hand-rearing wild monarchs may also do more harm than good.

It always seems to come back to restoring natural habitat as the most promising means to a healthy ecosystem. In the case of monarchs plant some native milkweed for host plants and plant some native flowers for their nectar source. And then get your friends and neighbors to do the same thing.
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:37 PM   #3
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Nice find! It's good to see some research that confirms what most scientists have suspected for a long time - butterfly farms do more harm than good. Comparing butterfly farm raised monarchs to wild monarchs is a lot like comparing farm raised mallard ducks to wild mallard ducks. And according to the research hand-rearing wild monarchs may also do more harm than good.

It always seems to come back to restoring natural habitat as the most promising means to a healthy ecosystem. In the case of monarchs plant some native milkweed for host plants and plant some native flowers for their nectar source. And then get your friends and neighbors to do the same thing.
The article was shared on a Facebook group that I belong to. As soon as I saw it,I knew I had to share it here.

I agree with what you have to say--you are preaching to the choir--but I have to say, I like how you expressed it.

I am trying to do just that.

I would like to add that I think (when possible) planting seeds from local milkweed populations is probably a good way to guard against any other unforeseen problems.

Thank you, NEWisc.
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:49 AM   #4
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I read the actual research paper. What caught my eye was if you want late summer monarchs to migrate, you need to raise them outside. This means the whole larval and pupal stage. This was not really a focus of the study but it was something that popped up unexpectedly. If they brought a chrysalis inside three to four days before eclosion, the butterfly did not fly south. Whether two days or one day were tried is not mentioned. I'm guessing it was just an accident. Probably thought it did not matter when they brought the chrysalises inside but found out it did.

I raise all my monarchs inside. With the late summer ones, I make sure they don't get too many hours of light and experience outside like temps (versus A/C). Thought that was good enough but sounds like it is not. Guess I need to build some kind of outdoor habitat for them.

Other perspectives on this paper:

http://akdavis6.wixsite.com/monarchscience/single-post/2019/06/24/New-study-shows-captive-reared-and-commercially-reared-monarchs-and-even-their-descendants-are-poor-migrants


Chip Taylor issued this response. Facebook only AFAIK. Chip's response surprised me. He normally does not write things that upset the home rearing fanatics.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/monarch-watch/a-response-to-the-pnas-paper-regarding-captive-reared-monarchs-by-dr-chip-taylor/10157174303523796/


EDIT:
Quote:
if you want late summer monarchs to migrate, you need to raise them outside.
That is a little strong. I should not have used "need." There are always exceptions.
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Last edited by KC Clark; 06-26-2019 at 12:53 AM. Reason: Additional thoughts
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by KC Clark View Post
I read the actual research paper. What caught my eye was if you want late summer monarchs to migrate, you need to raise them outside. This means the whole larval and pupal stage. This was not really a focus of the study but it was something that popped up unexpectedly. If they brought a chrysalis inside three to four days before eclosion, the butterfly did not fly south. Whether two days or one day were tried is not mentioned. I'm guessing it was just an accident. Probably thought it did not matter when they brought the chrysalises inside but found out it did.

I raise all my monarchs inside. With the late summer ones, I make sure they don't get too many hours of light and experience outside like temps (versus A/C). Thought that was good enough but sounds like it is not. Guess I need to build some kind of outdoor habitat for them.

Other perspectives on this paper:

http://akdavis6.wixsite.com/monarchscience/single-post/2019/06/24/New-study-shows-captive-reared-and-commercially-reared-monarchs-and-even-their-descendants-are-poor-migrants


Chip Taylor issued this response. Facebook only AFAIK. Chip's response surprised me. He normally does not write things that upset the home rearing fanatics.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/monarch-watch/a-response-to-the-pnas-paper-regarding-captive-reared-monarchs-by-dr-chip-taylor/10157174303523796/


EDIT: That is a little strong. I should not have used "need." There are always exceptions.
Thank you, K.C.

Nature is undoubtedly, extremely complex. We all have a lot to keep learning.
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC Clark View Post
I read the actual research paper. What caught my eye was if you want late summer monarchs to migrate, you need to raise them outside. This means the whole larval and pupal stage. This was not really a focus of the study but it was something that popped up unexpectedly. If they brought a chrysalis inside three to four days before eclosion, the butterfly did not fly south. Whether two days or one day were tried is not mentioned. I'm guessing it was just an accident. Probably thought it did not matter when they brought the chrysalises inside but found out it did.

I raise all my monarchs inside. With the late summer ones, I make sure they don't get too many hours of light and experience outside like temps (versus A/C). Thought that was good enough but sounds like it is not. Guess I need to build some kind of outdoor habitat for them.

Other perspectives on this paper:

http://akdavis6.wixsite.com/monarchscience/single-post/2019/06/24/New-study-shows-captive-reared-and-commercially-reared-monarchs-and-even-their-descendants-are-poor-migrants


Chip Taylor issued this response. Facebook only AFAIK. Chip's response surprised me. He normally does not write things that upset the home rearing fanatics.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/monarch-watch/a-response-to-the-pnas-paper-regarding-captive-reared-monarchs-by-dr-chip-taylor/10157174303523796/


EDIT: That is a little strong. I should not have used "need." There are always exceptions.
I'm sure that many people will continue to rear monarchs under controlled conditions. Most just want to help in a way that they see as a direct contribution to the butterfly's well being. The opportunity here is to provide them with the best information on how to accomplish that goal.

"Guess I need to build some kind of outdoor habitat for them." When you get that ideal protocol nailed down please spread the word!

With respect to nailing down that 'ideal protocol' it might be helpful to take a minimalist approach. What really accomplishes the goal - in other words what can we realistically expect to improve? Then we can come up with the simplest, most effective way to accomplish that.

Starting off with an outdoor enclosure concept, would simply enclosing the caterpillar/chrysalis and the host plant in some kind of protective netting accomplish everything we could reasonably expect to achieve? I don't know - just throwing out a potentially helpful thought process.
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:55 AM   #7
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I raise most of my caterpillars outside. Monarchs are one of the few species that I raise inside. That is because the sleeves/socks/bags that I use do not work well with milkweed.

An outdoor rearing enclosure needs to make sure the caterpillars do not drown because of rain. Too much sun during 90+ degree days is also bad. The third thing I'm trying to figure out is an easy way to deal with the frass. Wet frass is a mess. Simplest way to solve these problems is to replace the fabric awning over my back deck but I have not wanted to spend the $ for last twelve years.
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:49 AM   #8
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I am wondering if one could use the pop-up laundry baskets made of mesh to make a quick and simple enclosure. I used them once to protect seedlings from rabbits and deer.
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Old 07-26-2019, 12:34 PM   #9
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I am wondering if one could use the pop-up laundry baskets made of mesh to make a quick and simple enclosure.
Rain + Frass = Mess

If you have a covered place to put them, then you're in business.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:31 PM   #10
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Rain + Frass = Mess

If you have a covered place to put them, then you're in business.
I have always just provided milkweed and let nature take its course.

I never thought about the mess if I were to cover them outside.
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