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The Monarch is dead, long live the Monarch

The Monarch is dead, long live the Monarch

"The king is dead, long live the king!". The original phrase was translated from the French 'Le roi est mort, vive le roi!', which was first declared upon the accession to the French throne of Charles VII after the death of his father Charles VI in 1422.

So my subject is a play on words – no doubt someone could have said it better as I’m a lot brain dead after our very successful and wonderful conference. Keynote speakers visiting the country: Brian Cutting (recently of USDA Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit), David James (Washington State) and Myron Zalucki (University of Queensland) - and then some fantastic Kiwis broadened our knowledge of how to help NZ's Lepidoptera.

Things ARE different for Monarch butterflies in NZ to their habitat in other countries. There are no indigenous milkweeds so each year the Monarch depends on humans to plant or grow milkweeds. Without humans, the Monarch would no doubt not survive. Did you note the story in the media a few years ago, that the Monarch migration is down to 19% of what it once was?

At our Annual General Meeting yesterday a resolution was passed that our name be changed to the Moths and Butterflies of NZ Trust (MBNZT) so over the next few months you will see a gradual change taking place on our website ( in our name and perhaps an increase in the focus to include more and more information about other butterflies and moths. It won't be THAT different - check out

But that does NOT mean we don’t still love the Monarch. It is such a wonderful ambassador (vanguard might be a better word, if we’re keeping it in royal circles) for the other butterflies… and moths… and insects generally… and the environment, biodiversity, ecology. All those things that people seem to have become detached from in recent years.

So long live the Monarch! Let’s do all we can to ensure that continues.


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