Just another My blog Sites site

Month: October 2019

You Are What You Eat – Blog5

You Are What You Eat – Blog5

(261 Words)

Delicious and nutritious…and poisonous. Photo: Bonnie McBride

In keeping with the Monarch Butterfly pattern here, this week we’re looking at another solid source. MILKWEED: Medicine of Monarchs and Humans by Lindsay Stafford Mader.

The article gives a light overview on some history behind milkweed, human uses, monarch uses and a look at the effects and cause of milkweed decline. Rather than solely focusing on the Monarch’s need for milkweed as a food source, Stafford Mader also explores the connection between the cardenolides in milkweed and monarch butterflies. The cardenolides are responsible for the medicinal and toxic properties of milkweed. The same compound the makes milkweed lucrative to herbalists, is the reason monarchs exclusively lay their eggs on milkweed. The more cardenolides monarchs consume, the better their protection against predators.

Reliable Sources Beget Reliable Information

I can exclusively use these peer reviewed sources thanks to my abuse of the Fleming College Library’s research directory. Since we’re dealing with mainly the importance of milkweed as a food source for Monarch butterflies, our 2014 publication date is of little note. After a little snooping, I found that our Author du jour is ‘only’ a freelance writer. However if its good enough for Fleming’s peer reviewed directory, then I can only say: what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

The source here provides a novel look at milkweed and monarchs butterflies I haven’t seen yet. Kind of an “Eat the poison, become the poison” strategy.

I know the idea behind researching for school projects is to learn things, but I’m nevertheless surprised when I find myself learning something interesting.

And heres my name to say so.


D.A. Mills

References

Stafford Mader, L. (2014). MILKWEED: Medicine of Monarchs and Humans. HerbalGram, (101), 38–47. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=awh&AN=94874416&site=eds-live&scope=site

Long Live Her Majesty the Monarch…or we die – Blog4

Monarch Butterfly. Photo: Bonnie McBride

Long Live Her Majesty the Monarch…or we die – Blog4

(452 Words)

Gotta hand it to the Monarch Butterfly, their beauty and grace have captivated humans around the globe. However researching monarch butterflies is tangibly depressing. Merely scratching the surface gave me a glimpse into the near obliteration of the species that has granted them the equally depressing and useless title of endangered.

Monarch Butterfly. Photo: Bonnie McBride

I had to look specifically for a drier profile. Sure, we can still infer the destruction wrought by humans but its simply not as ‘in the face’. The World Wildlife Federation’s Monarch Butterfly profile was able to do just that.

I highly recommend starting with the WWF if you want to have a leg up on people when it comes to Monarch Butterflies. The article was written in such a way it can be easily consumed by we the little people, but still contained some more useful tid bits that hobbiests and academics can make use of. They made the information clear and concise by breaking it into easily digestible blocks with a clear topic.

That said, while the information was certainly relevant to learning about the monarch it was not very current. Rather surprising that the WWF’s website is not as up to date as one would expect. Enviroloons famously go ape mode when GOVs don’t update environmental policies and species status fast enough. Meanwhile their webpage (their very face if you will) need updating.

Regarding the area of wintering grounds the Monarch occupies, WWF explained that in 2017 the monarch only occupied 2.5 hectares, (World Wildlife Federation. 2019).

Meanwhile, in January 2019 the CBC posted an article with a significant update to the Monarch Butterfly stats. “This winter, researchers found the butterflies occupying 6.05 hectares (14.95 acres) of pine and fir forests in the mountains of Michoacan and Mexico states. That’s an increase from 2.48 hectares (6.12 acres) a year ago.” (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 2019. Monarch butterfly numbers up 144% at Mexico wintering grounds, para. 3)

I love the WWF and all the work they’ve done around the world so its hard to be critical of them, but….. we need more updates to their species profiles. WWF is not just a globaly recognized organization, but certainly the most loved and reputable one in Canada. I think this oversight could be due to funding so look below for the link to their donation page. That and explaining WHY the monarch butterfly is important should have been near the top of the species profile. Not off to the side, buried like its unrelated.

Monarchs are pollinators, and I feel like that alone makes it important that we educated people on why we need to stop the destruction of Monarch habitats. If the pollinators die, we all die. Or so I’ve heard.

And heres my name to say so.

D.A. Mills

WWF Monarch Donation Page

References

World Wildlife Federation. (2019). Monarch Butterfly. Retrieved October 06, 2019, from http://www.wwf.ca/conservation/species/monarch_butterfly/

Canadian Broadcast Corporation. (2019). Monarch butterfly numbers up 144% at Mexico wintering grounds. Retrieved October 06, 2019, from https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/monarch-butterfly-population-1.5000249

Special thanks to Bonnie McBride for providing photos. She is a local gardener in Sault Ste. Marie, ON who provides an extremely robust habitat for the Monarch Butterfly.

© 2022 Little Bits

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

css.php