Monarchs seen at Appleby Line

Monarch Butterflies were recently seen near Appleby Line last week. Is this good news for the struggling insect that has been declining in our area for the last decade?

During the summer months, the Monarchs were plentiful in eastern Burlington. This year it’s been estimated that the population has declined by 90 per cent and soon the Monarch could be a distant memory. Gone like the famous Pig and Whistle Pub at the corner of Lakeshore and Burloak.

The decline has been linked to the use of insecticides like neonicotiniods and Roundup that have been destroying Milkweed the host plant for Monarch caterpillars.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota estimate that Monarch egg production has declined by 80 per cent. Between 1995 and 2013 Australia’s national science agency found that Milkweed has declined by 21 per cent.

The butterflies normally winter in Mexico. However, the David Suzuki Foundation found that populations have steadily declined to a record low in that country to 33.5 million this year compared to an annual average of 350 million.

Monarch butterflies aren’t the only pollinating insects affected by insecticides. Bees have also declined by 58 per cent this year.

If you’re concerned and would like to know how you can help, the Hamilton Naturalist Club along with Environment Hamilton will be hosting a seminar on Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. called Disappearing Act. Where have the pollinators gone? What can we do? at the Spectator Auditorium, 44 Frid St, Hamilton.

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