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>Monarch Watch Update - April 2006
>http://www.MonarchWatch.org
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>
>==========================================
>
>Contents:
>
>1) Status of the Population
>2) Egg Dumping
>3) Degree Days
>4) Monarch Waystation Publicity
>5) Monarch Waystation Seed Kits
>6) Milkweed Restoration
>7) Peru to Saudi Arabia
>8) Hawks and Monarchs
>9) Western Monarchs
>10) Project MonarchHealth
>11) Spring Open House & Plant Fundraiser
>12) About Monarch Watch
>
>==========================================
>
>Unless otherwise noted, all content was authored by Chip Taylor, 
>edited by Jim Lovett and Sarah Schmidt, and published by Jim Lovett. 
>The complete web version of this update is available at: 
>http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2006/0430.html
>
>==========================================
>
>1) Status of the Population
>
>As most of you know, one of my goals is to make sense of the monarch 
>numbers - both at the overwintering sites and during the breeding 
>season. To this end, I've been looking at any data that might show 
>how the spring/summer and early fall numbers can be linked to to 
>numbers of overwintering monarchs. Last July, based on nothing more 
>than my experience over the last 14 years and the degree day data 
>that Janis Lentz put together for different latitudes, I predicted 
>that the number of overwintering monarchs for 2005-2006 would be 5-7 
>hectares. The actual population measured at 5.91 hectares; I got 
>lucky. The basis for this prediction was pretty shaky and could not 
>be justified scientifically. Subsequently, I came up with another 
>factor that offers real promise for quantitative predictions of the 
>size of the overwintering population from one year to the next. 
>Curiously, this estimator yielded a similar result with the total 
>predicted population of 6-7 hectares. The question now is whether 
>the model that I'm working from can accurately predict the monarch 
>population this coming winter, some 7-8 months before the population 
>is measured. ...
>
>[ Read the full text of this article at 
>http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2006/0430.html#1 ]
>
>==========================================
>
>2) Egg Dumping
>
>Monarch females are usually quite selective as to where they place 
>their eggs. Most eggs are placed singly on young leaves and 
>sometimes on flowers. Older, tougher leaves tend to be avoided. It 
>may be that oviposition has been fine-tuned through selection 
>favoring those females that make the best choices for their larvae. 
>Older leaves appear to contain more latex and may contain other 
>compounds or properties that limit the successful development of 
>first instar larvae. It is surprising then to hear accounts of egg 
>dumping by female monarchs returning from Mexico. Egg dumping refers 
>to the tendency of females to lay tens of eggs per plant. ...
>
>[ Read the full text of this article at 
>http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2006/0430.html#2 ]
>
>==========================================
>
>3) Degree Days
>
>The monarch season is off to a hot start. The accumulated monarch 
>degree days for March and April are shown for Austin and Little Rock 
>in Table 2. Note that the accumulated degree days are substantially 
>above the average for the last seven years for both locations. For 
>directions on the calculation of degree days for monarchs, please 
>see the Teaching with Monarchs section of the January 2005 Update. 
>The high number of degree days translates into faster development 
>for most forms of life, including monarch caterpillars. It is for 
>this reason that I expect the first generation butterflies from 
>Texas and other southern areas to be moving north a bit earlier this year. ...
>
>[ Read the full text of this article at 
>http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2006/0430.html#3 ]
>
>==========================================
>
>4) Monarch Waystation Publicity
>
>Here at Monarch Watch we've made many friends over the years. Many 
>go out of their way to support our program and we appreciate their 
>efforts. Somewhere along the way we hope to meet all of these 
>wonderful supporters. While the Monarch Waystation program is off to 
>a good start, we still need many of our friends to help us promote 
>this program and keep the program rolling. Along these lines, 
>earlier in the year I received a note from Elizabeth Hunter, a long 
>time monarch enthusiast who has worked with Lincoln Brower. 
>Elizabeth has tagged many a monarch at Cape May, New Jersey and has 
>promoted monarchs in many ways. Elizabeth declared that she would be 
>glad to devote one of the garden columns she prepares for the Blue 
>Ridge Country Magazine to Monarch Waystations. Elizabeth was true to 
>her word and an excellent article on our Monarch Waystation program 
>can be found at:
>
>http://www.blueridgecountry.com/ci/MountainGarden/index.html.
>
>We appreciate the help - thanks Elizabeth!
>
>==========================================
>
>5) Monarch Waystation Seed Kits
>As we mentioned last month, we now have a limited number of seed 
>kits available in two versions: a standard kit and a California kit. 
>Once our current inventory runs out, additional kits will not be 
>available until next year, so if you would like seeds this year 
>please be sure to order early (Monarch Watch Shop item#125522):
>
>http://shop.monarchwatch.org/product.aspx?p=125522 or 1-800-780-9986
>
>The Standard Monarch Waystation Seed Kit includes seed packets of 
>six milkweeds: BUTTERFLY WEED (Asclepias tuberosa), SHOWY MILKWEED 
>(Asclepias speciosa), COMMON MILKWEED (Asclepias syriaca), SWAMP 
>MILKWEED (Asclepias incarnata subsp. incarnata), SWAMP MILKWEED 
>(Asclepias incarnata subsp. pulchra), & TROPICAL MILKWEED (Asclepias 
>curassavica) and six general nectar plants: PRAIRIE BLAZINGSTAR 
>(Liatris pycnostachya), FLOSS FLOWER Blue Horizon (Ageratum 
>houstonianum), PURPLE CONEFLOWER (Echinacea purpurea), TITHONIA 
>TORCH Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia), ZINNIA Super Giant Mixed 
>(Zinnia), & VERBENA (Verbena bonairiensis)
>
>The California Monarch Waystation Seed Kit includes seed packets of 
>six milkweeds: BUTTERFLY WEED (Asclepias tuberosa), SHOWY MILKWEED 
>(Asclepias speciosa), TROPICAL MILKWEED (Asclepias curassavica), 
>INDIAN MILKWEED (Asclepias eriocarpa), DESERT MILKWEED (Asclepias 
>erosa), & SWAN PLANT (Asclepias fruticosa) and six general nectar 
>plants: PRAIRIE BLAZINGSTAR (Liatris pycnostachya), FLOSS FLOWER 
>Blue Horizon (Ageratum houstonianum), PURPLE CONEFLOWER (Echinacea 
>purpurea), TITHONIA TORCH Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia), ZINNIA Super 
>Giant Mixed (Zinnia), & VERBENA (Verbena bonairiensis).
>
>Complete information about the Monarch Waystation Program is available at
>http://www.monarchwatch.org/ws/
>
>==========================================
>
>6) Milkweed Restoration
>
>Our call to the public to help in the creation of monarch habitats 
>within gardens has led to many inquiries as to how to restore 
>milkweed in more natural landscapes. The techniques for preparing 
>the soil and planting the seeds or establishing seedlings varies 
>from one portion of the country to another. In addition, since 
>restoration projects should only include species that are native to 
>the area, it is necessary to locate compatible sources of seeds. As 
>these inquiries came in, I found that I couldn't answer many of the 
>questions. I also realized that it is unlikely that I can ever put 
>together a "one size fits all" text that encompasses all of the 
>different scenarios people are likely to encounter. To get some 
>help, I called on one of my colleagues, Dr. Sharon Ashworth, who has 
>a degree in ecology and experience with restoration, and asked her 
>if she could provide a list of resources to which I could refer 
>those who wish to restore milkweeds and other native plants. ...
>
>[ Read the full text of this article at 
>http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2006/0430.html#6 ]
>
>==========================================
>
>7) Peru to Saudi Arabia
>
>The international connections we make through Monarch Watch continue 
>to amaze me. Last month's Update contained an article by Cristina 
>Loayza from Leonardo Da Vinci School in Lima, Peru about her use of 
>monarchs to introduce students to science. Shortly after the Update 
>was distributed, we received a note from Alison Holmes, a primary 
>school science teacher at the Dar Al Fikr School in Jeddah, Saudi 
>Arabia. Alison described how the students collected what she took to 
>be monarch caterpillars from the milkweeds growing in the schoolyard 
>and brought them into the classroom to study their metamorphosis and 
>life cycle. Alison's monarchs are not the monarchs we know; rather, 
>they represent the Old World equivalent to the monarch - the plain 
>tiger, Danaus chrysippus. ...
>
>[ Read the full text of this article at 
>http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2006/0430.html#7 ]
>
>==========================================
>
>8) Hawks and Monarchs
>
>I love to get to get together with monarch biologists to share 
>stories about our favorite organism. The stories go better with beer 
>of course and it was while enjoying a local brew in the company of 
>several monarch biologists at the Entomological Society of America 
>conference at Alisomar in 2004 that Bob Pyle related his observation 
>of seeing a red tailed hawk chase down a monarch. I'm sure I nodded 
>in understanding, hopefully concealing my disbelief - after all Bob 
>has a reputation for veracity. A hawk chasing a monarch! Would you 
>believe it? ...
>
>[ Read the full text of this article at 
>http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2006/0430.html#8 ]
>
>==========================================
>
>9) Western Monarchs by Mia Monroe
>
>Monarchs dispersing from the numerous coastal overwintering sites 
>lingered along the coast of California longer than expected, 
>treating observers at sites from Ardenwood to Pacific Grove and as 
>far south as Santa Barbara to monarchs to the very beginning of 
>spring.  David Lange from Ellwood reports: "Many of the Ellwood 
>Monarchs left the area in late February but a couple thousand stayed 
>while a cold front, with rain for the coast and snow for the 
>surrounding foothills, came to the south coast. Observers in the 
>local neighborhoods commented on the large numbers of butterflies 
>still hanging around through early and middle March. When warm 
>weather arrived in late March the remaining Monarchs resumed the 
>migration and departed the area." ...
>
>[ Read the full text of this article at 
>http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2006/0430.html#9 ]
>
>==========================================
>
>10) Project MonarchHealth
>
>Project MonarchHealth is a survey of the occurrence of the protozoan 
>parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE), which parasitizes monarch 
>butterflies. This parasite is not harmful to humans; however, it can 
>harm the butterflies by inhibiting normal growth and lowering 
>butterfly survival in the wild. To check for parasites, surveyors 
>can swab the abdomen of live butterflies to collect parasite spores. 
>MonarchHealth citizen scientists help scientists map the location 
>and infection levels of OE in monarchs throughout the United States 
>and determine how much disease the parasites cause.
>
>This project is designed and coordinated by Sonia Altizer and 
>Natalie Kolleda of the University of Georgia. For more information 
>on how you or students could contribute to this study, please visit 
>http://monarchparasites.org/ or send an email with your inquiry to 
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>
>==========================================
>
>11) Monarch Watch Spring Open House and Plant Fundraiser
>
>You are cordially invited to join us on Saturday, May 13th 8am-3pm 
>for our annual Spring Open House and Plant Fundraiser at our 
>facilities on West Campus at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. 
>We are located in Foley Hall (2021 Constant Avenue) near the 
>greenhouse. Nearly 4,000 butterfly plants (both annuals and 
>perennials) including seedlings of seven milkweed species, will be 
>available (modest contributions are suggested). We will provide 
>refreshments, lots of show & tell, videos and games for children, 
>iChat videoconferencing demonstrations, and, of course, monarch butterflies!
>
>We hope to see you there, but if you can't make it to Lawrence we'll 
>have photos and maybe a webcam or two for you to check out online 
>during the day - for more information and a map visit
>
>http://www.MonarchWatch.org/openhouse/
>
>==========================================
>
>12) About Monarch Watch
>
>Monarch Watch (http://www.MonarchWatch.org) is a not-for-profit 
>educational outreach program based at the University of Kansas. We 
>manage several educational, conservation and research programs - 
>focusing on the monarch butterfly, its habitat and the spectacular 
>fall monarch migration.
>
>Previous updates are available online at
>
>http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update
>
>If you have any questions about this email or any of our programs 
>please feel free to contact us anytime.
>
>Thank you for your continued interest and support!
>
>Monarch Watch
>http://www.MonarchWatch.org
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