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Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 12:27:41 -0600
To: [log in to unmask]
From: Chip Taylor <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Bad news, bad news, and good news for some - help needed
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Here is part of a message just received from Mexico:

"as you know by now there are more dead butterflies this year than 2
years ago so this means you are going to have many many tags, I was
in Rosario and each man had at least 100 to 150 a piece and there are
many men that have them. I did not buy any as you said to save the
cash for more remote places, they are waiting for you to come. So be
prepared and bring plenty of cash $$"

Bad news#1: This is something I didn't know. There have been rumors
that the mortality from the cold spell in January was higher than
suggested by the press release last week by the Reserva Biosfera de
la Mariposa Monarca and this message suggests that the rumors may be
true. In any case, there are lots of dead monarchs and lots of tags.

Bad News#2: We don't have the funds to buy the number of tags
available as suggested by this email. Donations to the tag recovery
fund for this year were $2,371. As you know, we pay 50 pesos
(approximately $5) for each tag recovered - a reasonable
compensation, since it normally takes 1-3 hours to find each tag
among the dead butterflies on the forest floor. After the big chill
of January 2002 (fall 2001 tags) we spent approximately $12,000
recovering tags with the help of Dave Kust and others. This resulted
in 31 pages of data entries in the 2001 Season Summary. We recovered
many more tags the following year and we could have bought more had
we anticipated the large number of tags that still remained as a
result of the storm in 2002.

We will match up to $5,000 in donations from our operating budget but
even $10,000 may not be enough to recover all the tags available. If
you can help us with the tag recovery fund, your tax-deductible
contributions would be greatly appreciated. Checks may be sent to us

Monarch Watch
University of Kansas
Entomology Program
1200 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66045-7534

Good news for some: If we have the money to buy the tags, many of the
taggers will have their tags recovered and we will learn more about
the patterns of the migration.

Good news of a sort: Though the mortality might be high this year,
the overwintering population in Mexico appears to be the highest
since the winter of 2000-2001 and the 4th highest population since
the sizes of the colonies were first measured in 1993. In spite of
this winter kill, good numbers of butterflies evidently remain at all
the major sites.


Monarch Watch
[log in to unmask]
Dplex-L: send message "info Dplex-L" to [log in to unmask]
1-888-TAGGING (toll-free!) -or- 1-785-864 4441
1-785-864 5321 fax
University of Kansas, Entomology Program, 1200 Sunnyside Avenue,
Lawrence, KS 66045-7534