Oamaru the monarch butterfly capital of New Zealand
The Monarch Butterfly New Zealand Trust is delighted that Oamaru people are getting behind the drive for the town to become the Monarch Butterfly Capital of NZ.
“There would appear to be fewer monarch butterflies seen each year,” said Jacqui Knight, secretary of the Monarch Butterfly NZ Trust. “Many people tell us this, and while there are individuals who are working to raise more monarchs in their own communities, it does appear that the monarch is not exactly thriving around the country.
“It’s not only the effects of human impact (development, pesticide use for example) but biological threats are increasing each year with the arrival of new wasps in particular.”
The monarch is considered a native as it is believed that it arrived here naturally, but it is not an indigenous species, relying on introduced milkweeds such as swan plant on which to breed.
“However, it is very beautiful and a pleasure to see with no adverse effects on our indigenous species,” added Jacqui. “Not only that… it can be a child’s first lesson in the great outdoors. Seeing caterpillars is wonderful inspiration for curious children… and they can learn so much about Nature from their observations. The transformation process introduces them to the wonder of metamorphosis and the interaction on the swan plant teaches them about biodiversity.”
“Well done to Gordon Martin and the others in his team for working on this project. We offer them – and everyone seeking more information on the monarch butterfly – our wholehearted support. Our website, www.monarch.org.nz is a host of amazing information about monarchs and other species of NZ butterflies and moths.