JoinDonateMy Account

Monarchs are Wildlife!

26 October 2023

There are a few well-meaning people out there who are negatively affecting monarch butterflies through their efforts.

We get to see instances of people with sunscreen on their hands handling caterpillars, or covering plants with dirty nets which probably carry all sorts of diseases. Plug-in insect controls, pets with flea collars on, or using seedlings with pesticide residue for food are other concerns.

In California laws have recently been passed against “captive rearing” because it is harmful to the species . “…decreased fitness, poorer overall condition and reduced migratory propensity compared to wild monarchs” has been proven. Handling can also increase stress in monarch larvae and pupae and has the potential to spread Oe.

The migration of monarchs in North America has been negatively impacted over many years by human intervention. You can read more at this link:

Western Monarch Butterfly Conservation Plan

Of course, the NZ government won't introduce laws as monarchs are not endemic but the MBNZT can spread the message about best practice.

From time to time you will see our messages in social media. Please share them and encourage others to adopt best practice too. Here's one:

3 comments on “Monarchs are Wildlife!”

  1. Hi
    I have recently noticed that cats kill monarch butterflies. They stalk them and play with them like they do with mice etc and particularly when they have just emerged from the chrysalis when they cannot fly and when they are laying eggs on low branches of swan plants.

    1. Yes! Cats can be a bit of a pest. Some people have trained their cats to not go after butterflies using a small, toy water pistol and spraying the cat when they do try to get butterflies. They learn to associate butterflies with a negative experience IF you make sure the cat does NOT see you spraying the water.

      Good luck with retraining your cat!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for our free e-news

Be kept posted about our special offers, events and news weekly. Better yet, become a financial member of the MBNZT