Vanished monarchs

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  • #13456

    Anonymous
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    Hi

    This year Monarch butterflies have completely vanished from our garden in Blenheim. I saw two early in the season, but since then not a single one. Friends also report that they have none in their gardens. Also there is a great reduction (anecdotally) in bee numbers – maybe the arrival of varoa in Marlborough?

    It is quite scary to have a species just vanish. Does anyone have news or more information about this?

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  • #19664

    Anonymous
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    Hi Brett,

    This sounds very suspicious. For most insect life to die out at once I would suspect spraying or spray-drift (this is from spraying to high or on a windy day – it can travel quite a way). If this was the case I would expect problems in the Fish & Amphibian populations too as they are just as susceptible to sprays. Anyone with a fish pond would soon notice problems.

    As for the Cabbage White Butterfly, they are migratory, so soon fill in any areas without a population. Wasps are slower at re-colonising areas.

    Have Marlborough DC being upto anything on the quite?

    Robert.

    #19647

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Robert

    It’s very difficult to tell reliably without doing proper counts, but yes I think all our insect numbers are down (except for the cabbage whites!) and especially bee numbers are down (a local beekeeper confirms this). But the monarchs are completely gone. Not one. There have been very few common variety wasps and fewer paper wasps this year, maybe the lack of monarch caterpillars to prey on?

    My original post wasn’t clear. I didn’t mean to suggest that varoa was affecting butterflies, that was my clumsy grammar! The bee numbers are being affected by the varoa though. Many people are reporting light fruit crops this year, but again, whether this is connected is very hard to tell.

    Brett

    #19643

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi,

    Have you noticed that same for any other insects this year?

    I’m not aware of Varoa being a problem with Butterflies – but I maybe wrong.

    Robert.

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