Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Ever wonder where Monarch butterflies go for the winter?

Ever wonder where Monarch butterflies go for the winter?

The Monarch Butterfly New Zealand Trust is looking for ‘citizen scientists’ throughout the country to report sightings as the Monarchs follow their annual migration. A degree is not needed; anyone can take part, and everyone, schools included, are welcome to join the Trust’s annual project.

Secretary Jacqui Knight says if we are to conserve species effectively it is vital we monitor how they are faring. Small white tags, each with a unique number, are being applied to the wings of migrating Monarchs. Already tagged Monarchs are being seen on their journeys and people are reporting tag numbers to the website of the Trust.

“The status of our flora and fauna depends on the effects of climate change, pollution, alien species and land management,” Jacqui said. “We need to know more about our insects to predict the impacts of such change and to develop an appropriate response.”

Butterflies are uniquely placed to act as indicators of environmental change.

“By tagging and following Monarchs we can use them as indicators of the status of our environment here in NZ. Tagging serves a dual purpose – not simply by collecting critical data, but also by introducing people to the method and purpose of scientific investigation.”

Monarch butterflies typically form large clusters, sometimes containing hundreds or thousands of butterflies, on trees in well-sheltered areas over the colder winter months. Until the Trust started tracking Monarchs there was little research being done as to why butterflies appeared to be retreating from urban areas.

“This is important,” says Jacqui. “We need to find out where the Monarchs overwinter because this late summer generation forms the breeding stock for next year’s Monarch population.”

It’s not only Monarchs: Data is needed on other butterflies and moths too, such as the Forest Ringlet and Red Admirals. Entomologists are concerned about NZ’s endemic Lepidoptera.

South Island lepidopterist Brian Patrick talks of a tiny purple copper butterfly which now exists only in one coastal car park.

“It’s teetering on the very edge of survival,” he said.

“The plight of our butterfly fauna is heavily dependent on human respect if they are to survive and thrive. Several butterflies are threatened with extinction even before they are described.”

Overseas countries have learned the hard way – it is not too late for us to undertake research. People are being encouraged to report sightings of all butterflies and day-flying moths on the Trust’s website, and also to help with tagging.

In Britain FMCG giant Marks & Spencer is raising awareness of the importance of butterflies and moths, encouraging sustainable agriculture and so improving the environment for everyone.

The Monarch Butterfly New Zealand Trust is keen to involve gardeners, nature-lovers, trampers, schools, and home-schooled children in these projects.

All the information needed to register and to play your part is under projects on the Monarch Butterfly NZ Trust website: www.monarch.org.nz. If you have don’t have the technology, you can write to the Monarch NZ Trust, PO Box 44100, Pt Chevalier, Auckland 1246.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Future Brighter Money: RBNZ Releases New Bank Note Designs

New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year. More>>

ALSO:

Commerce: Supermarket Inquiry Finds No Breaches By Countdown

The Commerce Commission inquiry into anti-competitive behaviour by Countdown supermarkets, alleged by former Labour Party MP Shane Jones, has found nothing to warrant prosecution, although it warns supermarkets to take care in the way they communicate... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Flags ‘Challenge’ To Budget Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning next month’s half yearly fiscal and economic update from the Treasury may not forecast a budget surplus, saying that returning the government’s accounts to surplus in 2015 will be “a challenge”, given the decline in commodity prices and weak global inflation. More>>

ALSO:

March 2015: Netflix To Launch In Australia And New Zealand

World’s Leading Internet Television Network to Offer Original Series, Movies, Documentaries, Stand-Up Comedy Specials and TV Shows for Low Monthly Price More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese (Is Up): Dairy Product Prices Fall To Five-Year Low

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction to the lowest level in more than five years, led by declines in rennet casein and skim milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Australians Scoring Trade Points Against Us With The Chinese

It hasn’t been a great year for Trade Minister Tim Groser... To top it off, Australia has just signed a FTA with China that has far better provisions on dairy exports than what New Zealand currently enjoys in our own FTA with China. More>>

ALSO:

Iwi & Local Consultation: Oil And Gas Block Offer 2015 Begins

Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges today announced the start of the Block Offer 2015 process for awarding oil and gas exploration permits. More>>

Industrial Action: Stats NZ Throwing Public Money Away Duplicating Data

The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ are throwing money away by collecting the same data twice for official statistics such as the Consumer Price Index... As part of the ongoing industrial action, field interviewers who are PSA members are continuing to collect data, but are not sending it through to Statistics NZ. More>>

ALSO:

Other Stats:

Space: Rosetta's 'Philae' Makes Historic First Landing On A Comet

After more than a decade traveling through space, a robotic lander built by the European Space Agency has made the first-ever soft landing of a spacecraft on a comet. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news