Thursday, March 28, 2013

What is Killing the Monarch Butterflies? Surprising Answer!

I was reading over on the Kentucky University's Blog, The Daily Entomologist and came across a really interesting blog post by Chip Taylor, director of Monarch Watch.  The title, We're Starving the Monarch Butterflies, caught my attention.

I was thinking this post would be about deforestation but it wasn't.  There was a link to this press release.  Which talks about Mexico's protection of the Monarch Butterflies and their sanctuaries.  The problem lies within the united states and Canada.  And we aren't starving them by deforestation-- we are starving them by planting crops.  Surprisingly the crops are not for consumption but rather for the making of "GREEN" bio-fuel.  The environmental cost, (not even considering the cost of competing for crop space with crops grown for food) of bio-fuel may just be higher than people once thought.

The reason the bio-fuel crops of soy and other crops grown specifically for fuel are harming the Monarch Butterflies is because they now occupy once overgrown fields which held the naturally growing milkweed on which the Monarch Butterflies rely to survive.  Here is an article on bio fuel by John Perritano on HowStuffWorks.

So in our ever expanding quest to be green and reduce our carbon foot print, we are expanding our impact on the Monarch Butterfly and we can only imagine what other species will be adversely affected by the crop space (and processing) required to make this "green" fuel.  We are in a sense doing some de-grasslandation and it is apparently having a very profound and negative affect on habitat of the Monarch Butterfly.

Here is a short youtube video produced by National Geographic about the Monarch Butterfly's Migration.  Be warned there is a rather graphic (for insects) scene with a Praying Mantis.

Although this post isn't about pest control, Peak Pest Management is happy to help you with any pest control questions or needs.  Please contact me via phone call or email if you have pest control needs.

Micah Wood
Portland 503-998-4322
Vancouver 360-607-1933
Seattle 206-790-8285

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