Wellington Wintering Over Monarchs

  • This topic is empty.
  • Creator
    Topic
  • #15320

    Caryl
    Participant

    Does anyone know whether NZ monarch winter overs need nectar? Or do they enter a hibernating phase? If they need nectar how often? I’d value your responses. Some of my recently born monarchs (late May) have not survived the cold in Wellington.

    Caryl

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #30501

    Caryl
    Participant

    Fiona, There’s also a winter over site at the hospice in Lower Hutt.

    #30500

    Caryl
    Participant

    Norm, yes butterflies have existed for thousands of years. There is much evidence that like bees the monarch population is at risk, certainly in the US and Mexico, where they winter over. It is my belief that their existence is threatened by modern life, especially pesticides. I’d like to see many people overseeing the monarch caterpillars and encouraging their survival. I have heard the survival rate in the wild is approx 5% and when I check their daily welfare I can get 90% to the chrysalis stage. Many New Zealanders go through a whole summer without seeing a monarch! That’s sad.

    #30448

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Butterflies have existed for thousands of years without assistance from humans, and will continue to do so. Sometimes what is thought to be ‘helping’ a caterpillar or butterfly can actually be hindering it, and while it is helpful to provide for their needs, those needs are not necessarily what we think they are. The problem with too much assistance is that it may nurse a less than healthy adult through to producing unhealthy offspring, whereas it would not survive in nature, thus ensuring continuation of a healthy species.
    Overwintering is not a phase that occurs throughout the country at the same time, and in some regions monarchs are not yet ready to cluster, while in others the process is well underway. Butterflies have natural instincts and sensors which guide them to hostplants, foodplants and overwintering trees, usually in their own time when they are ready.

    #30447

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    My opinon, Fiona, is that they really don’t need our help.

    They sense where the nearest overwintering place is – and it might not be Shandon Golf Club – so my suggestion is to let it do what comes naturally. Put it outdoors in a space which is sheltered from heavy wind and rain and where it will catch any sunlight that does get through the clouds, and let it do it’s own thing.

    When we interfere too much we are possibly confusing its natural instincts. The fittest will make it through the winter and then produce healthier specimens in the spring.

    My point of view – what do others think?

    #30445

    fiona
    Participant

    I have a monarch that I found over the weekend in my Wellington garden. It seems reasonably healthy – hard to say if it has recently hatched from caterpillars I had in late summer. Would it be possible to take it to the overwintering site in Shandon to add it to that group, or is that not as easy as it sounds?

    #30401

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hello Caryl

    Yes, Monarch butterflies will fly out on warm days to top up their reserves on nectar.

    Only the fittest will survive the winter – but that is Nature.

    I have heard today that there is an overwintering site on the golfcourse near the mouth of the Hutt River. Hope to find out more details. (Shandon Golf Club).

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.