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Where Are Our Butterflies?


Monarch Butterfly PRESS RELEASE

for immediate release

Where Are Our Butterflies?

Butterflies Conference Motivating Monarch Lovers

Up and down the country Monarch lovers are wondering what has happened to the big, bright orange butterflies this summer.

“We’ve heard from many Monarch lovers in Canterbury and Otago that the Monarchs haven’t returned this summer – and it’s something that’s got us baffled,” said Jacqui Knight, secretary of the Monarch Butterfly NZ Trust. “Is it climate change? Is it lack of host plants?”

“Everyone loves the Monarch,” she said. “And while some people are reporting good numbers there are more areas where few have been seen.”

She is confident that it will be a hot topic discussed at the conference being held in Auckland on 16 and 17 March. It won’t be only Monarchs that are discussed but some of New Zealand’s less visible species and ways they can be encouraged into an urban garden will be covered.

“I believe we’ve gathered the very best of speakers from this country as well as Australia and the USA,” she said. “For example, renowned lepidopterist Brian Patrick will identify New Zealand species – there’s not much he doesn’t know about NZ’s Lepidoptera.”

Geoff Davidson, founder of Oratia Native Plant Nursery, will speak on native plants for native butterflies and moths, and Queensland’s Professor Myron Zalucki will detail exactly what goes on in the milkweed patch, sustainable Monarch butterfly habitat.

Keynote speaker Associate Professor David G James comes from the north-west USA where he is instrumental in creating sustainable habitat in leading vineyards, reducing the need for chemical pesticide use.

“Butterfly and moth caterpillars make great food for birds and other wildlife so they should be an important part of any habitat restoration,” said Jacqui.

There's plenty more to enjoy. The programme, poster and registration form is on the website of the Monarch Butterfly New Zealand Trust, http://www.monarch.org.nz/monarch/projects/conference-2013/

This event is the first of its kind to ever be held in Auckland and is proving very popular.

ENDS

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