10 Reasons for the absence of Monarchs in 2013

Monarch butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh, PA

What are 10 reasons for the absence of Monarchs (Danaus p.) in 2013?



3 thoughts on “10 Reasons for the absence of Monarchs in 2013

  1. One main reason for lack of monarchs was the cold spell and the cold rainy period as they should have been heading north from their roosting areas.
    This means that the milkweed emergence was delayed. The monarch maybe could go a week without eating, but most likely not two. Usually they co-inside. When they do not major problems for the females looking to lay her eggs.

    Number two there have been some reports that in the southern states, they are eliminating the roadside milkweeds. Milkweed, of course is the only plant the female will lay her eggs on. And the milkweed emergence has to happen as they fly northward.

    Another reason I have heard about is the genetically modified soy and corn are toxic to the nectaring Monarchs. How widespread are the modified plants is not known.

    Lastly I believe the farmers use to tolerate milkweed growing in the crop rows but not any longer.

    So basically man’s practices coupled with some unusual weather has affected all of the butterflies not just the Monarch this season.


  2. I can’t reflect on the absence of Monarchs, because we have none of them in Europe. There are concerns about the decline of butterflies and bees on our Dutch countryside too. Intensive farming has changed our meadows in sterile places. To bring back insects, butterflies, bees, birds and mammals to our meadows, farmers will need to cooperate.
    Personally, I’ve seen many butterflies in our city. Like bees, birds, swans and foxes, lots of animals migrate to cities because they are more diverse and alive than the countryside. This makes you think….


  3. Climate change and habitat loss are two of the most serious threats, I think(?), but I am not sure which is the absolute worst threat to the Monarch (in 2013). Agriculture in the mountains of Mexico and herbicides in the US are also threatening the Monarch, as well as their only larval food source, Milkweed (Asclepias).


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