Why So Few Monarchs?

Maybe the butterflies hate the tourists too. I certainly avoid places where they gather.

Butterfly Molesting

Roughly 30 people — sanctuary docents, volunteers and interested members of the public — gathered in the sanctuary Thursday morning to listen to Stuart Weiss, the chief scientist contracted by the city to develop long-term planning for the 2.5-acre site. Weiss described what goals he and the city want to accomplish to help monarchs, including dealing with tree species, microclimates and the plants monarchs rely on for nectar.

Why So Few Monarchs?

Politicizing The Butterfly

Butterfly Molesting

Ahhh politics. Here’s a the work of one that looks good

Assemblymember Mark Stone — whose district includes Pacific Grove’s Monarch Sanctuary — is pushing a bill, AB 2421, to protect the iconic black and orange insects. “As monarch butterfly populations decline, ecosystems across our state are at risk of collapse,” said Stone, who introduced the bill in February. “This measure provides grants and support to preserve and restore monarch and other pollinator habitats.

Then we see what it really is. Looks like another tax and spend project.

The bill would establish the Monarch and Pollinator Rescue Program, which would be overseen by the California Wildlife Conservation Board. The program would offer grants to farmers, ranchers, nonprofits and public agencies to pay for habitat restoration projects throughout the state.

Politicizing The Butterfly

Zombie Butterflies On The Loose

Zombie Butterflies

Probably birds. Wouldn’t it be odd if it was hawks brought in to control sea gulls finding the town’s symbol more tasty than gulls.

The butterflies are often found clinging to life — their abdomen removed with seemingly surgical precision.

“Their abdomen is just severed clean off, like you took it off with a scalpel,” says Stong, who is also the regional coordinator for the Xerces Society’s Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count.

Connie Masotti, a docent at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, has also found several of the gutless butterflies. Based on their observations, Masotti suspects that the predation happens just before sunrise, since the butterflies are still alive when the docents get to their stations in the early morning.

Zombie Butterflies On The Loose

Money For Monarchs

“Past mishaps”
Butterfly Tree Stump

Fish & Wildlife to grant money for restoration and improvements.

“We walk around and talk about the state of the sanctuary and what the activities are that we have decided are good for the grove,” said Weiss. “The idea is that we want to be open and transparent about why we recommend doing certain things to keep every one on the same page about what’s happening in the grove.”

That transparency is so important to Weiss and city officials because of the past mishaps that have occurred with the city’s management of the sanctuary.

Money For Monarchs

Butterfly Census: Fewer Monarchs, Plant Milkweed?

What is it Ann? If it’s an over wintering site why plant milkweed for the caterpillars? Should plant nectar bearing flowers for the butterflies I think

Monarch Molesting No Touch

“There’s volunteers all along the west coast, primarily in California that are counting over wintering sites during the three weeks around thanksgiving,” said Pacific Grove Museum Director of Education Ann Wasser.

“They’re looking at different pesticides, they’re looking at habitat loss with milk weed which is what the monarchs use to lay their eggs on. A lot of people treat it as a weed so they pull it,” said Wasser.

Butterfly Census: Fewer Monarchs, Plant Milkweed?

Minimal Monarchs

Maybe the cost of housing is keeping them away.

Monarch Cluster

Volunteers and officials with the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History recently counted 11,000, down from 18,000 this time last year. That count seems to buck a coastal trend, although not all the counts are in.

Sarina Jepsen, the director of the Xerces Society’s endangered species program, said that from the 145 sites counted so far, the monarch count actually seems to be up from last year. Jepsen’s program aims to raise awareness about the plight of invertebrates that are declining.

Minimal Monarchs

Mvsevm To Imprison The Monarchs

Since the place was gifted to the fish prison it’s only natural for them to do the same with butterflies. And to do it with nothing more than summer tourists in mind.

The Mvsevm

“We have a bit of a challenge when tourists come here in the summer,” says Lori Mannel, executive director of the P.G. Museum of Natural History. “They say, ‘Where are the monarchs?’”
But thanks to a $50,000 planning grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Mannel and her colleagues expect that to change: A butterfly pavilion in the museum’s native plant gardens is in the works, an enclosed structure that will be home to a variety of native butterflies in all of their life stages, from caterpillar to chrysalis to winged.

Mvsevm To Imprison The Monarchs

Monarch’s Law: Do Not Molest Butterflies In Pacific Grove

Butterfly Molesting

Often brought up in “True Facts” articles. Really is a law on the books.

Many people many not know it, but there is law which was written more than 70 years ago. It says if you are caught molesting a Monarch, it’ll cost you $1,000. That’s how serious Butterfly Town USA is about protecting the butterflies.

Monarch’s Law: Do Not Molest Butterflies In Pacific Grove

Butterfly Parade 2013

Butterfly Parade Title
1970s Butterfly Parade

Self sustaining before it was a UN buzz phrase. One of the few remaining events that are not capitalized on. Flutter on, little chrysalis’ and butterflies.

On a sunlit, 80-plus degree Saturday morning in Pacific Grove, several hundred kids dressed up as insects, sea creatures, farmers, artists, pioneers, clowns and healthy vegetables for the 75th annual Butterfly Parade and Bazaar.

A few parents, grandparents, babies and dogs dressed for the occasion, too.

The popular, don’t-you-wish-you-lived-here event is a rite of passage for Pacific Grove grade-schoolers. As they move from kindergarten to fifth grade, they get promoted from caterpillars to monarch butterflies, lady bugs, bumble bees, jellyfish, otters, farmers, pioneers, gold miners and, finally, clowns.

They gather in their handmade costumes in front of Robert Down Elementary School to pose for the paparazzi, then convene with their classmates for a 1-square-block strut that starts and ends on Pine Avenue.

Butterfly Parade 2013

P.G. Remodel At Butterfly Sanctuary

Practical and purposeful items like straight pathways and a historic building are out, zig-zagging trails and demolished buildings are in.

The path, which had been straight and wide enough to drive a car on, now meanders and is narrower. The small metal posts and twine marking the path were replaced by thick redwood posts and bulky rope. City workers added a drainage system to combat erosion.

Brokaw Hall, dating back to 1914 and formerly part of the Del Monte Military Academy, was considered unsafe and needed to be torn down, Zimmer said. It was dismantled in June.

“Brokaw Hall is gone and is becoming the hall of flowers,” said volunteer Bob Pacelli. He and other volunteers plan to add 75 plants to the sanctuary before the ceremony, he said.

He is part of a project to add eight new genera of plants. The plants have been used in the sanctuary throughout the years, but not recently, said Frances Grate, a Pacific Grove gardener who is involved in the project.

The long-term goal is to plant permanent flowers that the butterflies can use instead of relying on temporary plants brought to the park each year.

P.G. Remodel At Butterfly Sanctuary