Habitat loss in U.S. blamed for decline of monarch butterflies

The principal cause of the shrinking population of monarch butterflies is loss of habitat in their U.S. breeding grounds, scientists say in a study published in the Journal of Animal Ecology.

Planting milkweed in the south and central United States would provide the largest immediate benefit,”

Read or download the article here (free).

See on latino.foxnews.com

As monarch butterflies plummet, it’s time to rethink the widespread use of weed killers

Today NRDC is calling on EPA to re-examine the widespread use of glyphosate, commonly called Roundup, in light of its impacts on monarch butterflies.  Glyphosate was last approved by EPA in 1993 before the adoption of genetically modified crops that…

See on switchboard.nrdc.org

Monarch Butterfly conservation is in the news. AMAZING MATILDA is too!

READ ALL ABOUT IT! Award-winning Monarch Butterfly Picture Book ‘AMAZING MATILDA’ teaches life lessons Monarch Butterfly conservation is in the news. AMAZING MATILDA is too! Her storyline and illus…

See on 4writersandreaders.com

Timber Poaching Case

See on Scoop.itGarry Rogers Nature Conservation News (#EcoSciFi)

The EIA is an independent, international campaigning organisation committed to investigating and exposing environmental crime.

Garry Rogers insight:

Timber poaching?  Yes and it is threatening Monarch Butterflies along with many other species.

See on www.eia-international.org

What the 3 Amigos should really talk about today: monarch butterflies – The Globe and Mail

See on Scoop.itGarry Rogers Nature Conservation News (#EcoSciFi)

Garry Rogers insight:

“Wherever there is injustice, you will find us”

(Ned Nederlander).

See on m.theglobeandmail.com

Arizona Wildlife Notebook Second Edition

Arizona Wildlife Notebook Introduction

Base Layer for Notebook Cover

Base Layer for Notebook Cover

The second edition of my “Arizona Wildlife Notebook” will be off to the printer (CreateSpace) as soon as I finish the cover.  This edition has introductions and checklists for 12 groups of Arizona animal species:  Amphibians, ants, bats, birds, butterflies and moths, dragonflies and damselflies, fish, grasshoppers, lizards, mammals, snakes, and turtles.  Groups in bold type are new to the Notebook.  The introduction to each group covers the group’s conservation issues and provides references for printed and online field guides.  The checklist for each group includes scientific and common names and conservation status.  I alphabetized each checklist by scientific name, and I included an index for all the common names. Continue reading

New Arizona Wildlife Notebook

Arizona Wildlife Notebook, Second edition

Arizona Wildlife Notebook CoverI have completed the second edition of the Arizona Wildlife Notebook!  The new Notebook has four more species groups than the first edition, and it has an expanded index.  The most important change is in the conservation status for each species.  This time, I standardized the information so that future changes will be easier to track. Continue reading

Arizona Butterfly and Moth Update–November, 2013

By Garry Rogers

Arizona Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Tiger Swallowtail

Two-tailed Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata) Arizona’s butterfly.

Butterflies and moths are pollinators and they are food for other species.  I know of no harm they cause to human interests.  Nevertheless, many die from insecticide poisoning and others decline due to human removal of caterpillar host plants.  The conservation status of these familiar animals is mostly unknown.

Butterflies and moths are not thought of as social insects, but they do interact beyond their feeding and mating behavior.  I have watched two Monarch butterflies perched side by side patiently taking turns at a nectar source, and many of us have seen two or more individuals swirling around with members of their own and other species. Continue reading

Butterflies and Moths of Arizona Conservation Status

Arizona Butterfly and Moth Conservation Checklist

Click here for an earlier post with a more detailed discussion.

Butterflies, just like honey bees and other pollinators, are declining because of habitat loss and because of pesticides.  Even herbicides can be deadly.  Monarch butterflies for instance, do not lay many eggs if there aren’t any milkweeds, and people routinely eradicate milkweeds along with other plants.

According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the conservation status of most butterflies is unknown.  Our knowledge of moths is even less complete.  Most moth species have not been identified, and there is almost no information on the conservation status of Arizona moths.  The number given below for butterflies at risk of extinction is almost certainly lower than the actual number.

Butterfly and Moth Photographs

Here are a few sample photographs of butterflies and moths seen around my home in Dewey-Humboldt on the Agua Fria River in central Arizona.  If there was a common designation of knowledge below “amateur,” it would describe my expertise with the Lepodoptera.  Thus, I could not identify some of the photographed species with confidence.  This is especially true for moths.

Continue reading