There is no way that someone would “like” this heartbreaking blog posting, but please “like it” if you see the seriousness of it, the environmental implications of it.
I, not long ago, posted some information from the Sierra Club, that i belong to, about Monarch Butterfly populations declining in North America since 1997. The Midwestern United States has seen an 88% decline. I also recently sent in a check to a Sierra Club supported drive to get Monarch Butterfly plate decals (which would help fund the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources to support Monarch habitats). However, nothing prepared me for the dismal discovery that i made while photographing insects in a wildflower field that was across a rural road from a farm cornfield. I knew about how important Milkweed plants are for Monarch caterpillars, and when i’ve been out photographing lately, i’ve been curious about the Milkweed plants. I’ve been seeing Milkweed plants that were eaten and chewed up… but no caterpillars. Then, one day, while in the wildflower field across from a cornfield, i saw some Milkweed plants. One Milkweed Plant was chewed up, and when i lifted a few leaves to get a closer look… a very — and unnaturally — dead caterpillar is what was seen (i.e., the second photograph). When i was young, corn often had a few grubs or insects around the silk end, and that little part was simply chopped off. These days, there are never such “intruders”; heaven forbid! People would vehemently complain! However, the pesticides — these over-kill overly potent pesticides — you can be sure, are residually still there and are far more precarious and unhealthy than the little pests. Little wonder why Europe doesn’t even want to get U.S. pesticide riddled corn/soy. Additionally, another factor: A recent study by Bret Elderd and Matthew Faldyn from Louisiana State University suggest climate change can alter the chemical composition of Milkweed making it poisonous to Monarchs. The increase in temperatures — due to global warming — causes Milkweed plants to be stressed and produce more toxins, toxins which then become deadly to the very Monarch caterpillars that they had protected. There are tons of people out there, unfortunately, who ignorantly deny man’s role in climate change and who do little or nothing to help change things for the better. Sad and immoral!
All the factors involved with this are far too vast for me to go into. For one thing, we need to reduce our human population; in other words, keep it at more reasonable levels, live more environmentally conscious, and grow food in more organic and considerate ways. Too few are talking seriously about any of this and it is unlikely that things will change any time soon. The bees, too, are dwindling, and many realize that when they go, we go.
The poor Monarchs are yet another unfortunate, beautiful species harmed by man.