|BSB directory||BSB Education||BSB lectures||BSB Mission||Patient Earth|
Can you imagine 20000 butterfly species? That's how many different butterflies exist on Earth.|
Butterfly wings have a very delicate construction, with overlapping microscopic scales resulting in these wonderful special colors and patterns.
About 400 butterfly species call Texas home.
You see the adult butterfly + the caterpillar
Many butterflies are migratory, what means they travel long distances.|
The Texas State butterfly is the Monarch; these butterflies travel over 3000 miles during migration.
Why do we see less Monarch butterflies?
Something went wrong with the spring monarch migration. Not many of us have caught sight of more than a few of the iconic insects currently on their northward journey through Texas.
Monarch - Danaus plexippus
Migration route Texas Hill Country
There are some key culprits of the population collapse of this most recognizable of our butterflies.
Soggy weather and illegal logging have both indisputably reduced the Monarch butterflies at their Mexican over-wintering grounds.
Read our article about the Monarch butterfly
Not many know that the on-going loss of habitat in the United States, as well as our widespread use of toxic herbicides, pesticides, and use of genetically modified corn, threatens many butterfly species.|
Butterflies need milkweed as breeding ground, but humans destroy it. The use of Roundup Ready crops, herbicide-ready crops does not help either.
Monarch - danaus plexippus
Butterfly garden at Bear Springs Blossom Nature Preserve
Monarch Watch estimates current agricultural practices, including the war on Monarch's primary food source, milkweed have eliminated more than 80 million acres of monarch habitat in recent years.
When the butterflies reach their breeding ground around the Great Lakes region, they will be met with sprawling stands of soy and corn crops. Herbicide-tolerant crops that led to an increase in the amount of toxic spraying that has a very negative impact on monarchs.|
And some of Bt corn varieties are damaging butterflies.
Researchers published findings that showed that monarch larvae fed milkweed leaves dusted with Bt-corn pollen ate less, developed more slowly, and died more frequently than those fed milkweed untainted by the transgenic pollen.
Recent research shows that monarchs normally are well trained to protect their young ones.
Can you imagine, that monarch mothers know on which plant they attach their eggs?
Monarchs choose medicinal plants will special glycogens that are poisonous to other animals who want to eat the larvae or caterpillar. If an insect or birds eats the baby monarch, it gets sick, so it learns not to eat monarch caterpillars.
But Monarch females know more:
If there is a danger with parasites as the Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, the monarchs choose plants that are deadly for these parasites - without making an appointment with a doctor ...
Last winter's soggy weather had an impact on the already vulnerable population. Monarch butterflies limped into central Mexico at their lowest numbers since researchers began doing population counts in the 1970s.
While previous crashes in 2002 and 2004 occurred when the populations were above average, this year the population was at an all time low and then there was the crash that halved that low number. Another, a back-to-back crash would be particularly devastating.
And while Mexico's butterfly reserves and Midwest breeding grounds may feel far from us in South Texas, there is a lot local residents can do to help.
Texas Monarch routes are essential for the northward migration. It is here where the monarchs first rush of egg laying. So the conditions here in Texas play a big role in the success of future monarch generations going north.
The Monarch as caterpillar and as adult
The Monarch has recently been added to the World Wildlife Fund's Top Ten Most Threatened Species list and the overwintering population this winter is the lowest ever recorded.
Gulf Fritillary - Agraulis vanillae|
photo at Bear Springs Blossom Nature Preserve
What can YOU do?|
You can cut down on your pesticide use and rush out to plant some milkweed, sunflowers, and other plants. The Butterfly Bush is good for many butterflies, but not the best choice for monarchs.
Swallowtail feeding on butterfly bush
Our butterflies need our help to survive all the threats:
more violent weather
HELP: Every backyard butterfly garden helps.
Gulf Fritillary seen at
Bear Springs Blossom Nature Preserve
Sulphur Southern Dogface
Colias cesonia as butterfly and caterpillar
Contact us - learn to understand Nature!
Become an expert - become a BSB-Master Conservationist!
What else can you do?
Become a member of
Bear Springs Blossom Nature Conservation and help us to protect butterflies!
You will get free advice and information.
Membership starts at $1 (one) a month.
Think about how wonderful our Earth was created...
Live in Harmony with Nature + learn to understand Nature!
Loosing the pollinator butterfly will endanger many native plants. It is really amazing to see how Nature provides balance to all life on Earth.
How can we get humans to learn and understand? Mother Nature has a great plan - humans just have learned a few bits of it.
Bear Springs Blossom Nature Conservation international charitable NonProfit|
Conservation Education to have a better life
|BSB Education BSB preserves - - Keep-Earth-Beautiful - - Join BSB -|
BSB members strongly believe that
Conservation Education CE is the only solution to give the majority of human beings a better life on Earth.|
Bear Springs Blossom Nature Conservation
International charitable nonprofit organization 501(c)(3)
All rights reserved
Peter Bonenberger - president
Marianne Bonenberger director of education
BSBNCG POB 63295 Pipe Creek 78063 TX USA
Keep Earth Beautiful
BSB topic Conservation
BSB topic Philosophy
BSB tries to be as accurate as possible, but we are not responsible for broken or false links or misinterpretation
BSB was founded 2002 +
As a nonprofit organization, BSB is always grateful for donations in support of our mission.
Religion + Nature
All about WATER
Water + trees
Water + E.coli
All about AIR
Help us to protect Nature!
Photos of Nature
P + M book
Keep Earth clean
Nature is Art
Sage big red
River + Parks
Peter + Marianne
Bonenberger offer a
TX Hill Country
Lone Star Land Stewards
welcome YOU in our family of Nature lovers!
Laws of Nature
WHAT did God say?
|Fair Use Notice|
All material on over 1000 BSB web-pages is intended to advance understanding of the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of Nature conservation. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed an interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from our websites for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you are the owner of copyrighted material(s) appearing on this site, and wish it to be removed, please contact us directly.