I wrote a similar blog a year ago on this topic. Apparently this is going to be an annual thing. So, a year ago a group of scientists who adamantly oppose school teachers and grandmothers raising monarch butterflies in their homes, made a blog post in which they misrepresented data from a monarch study (Morris et al, 2015) to guilt people into stopping raising monarchs they find in their gardens and fields.
Now, a new study has been published, designed to largely accomplish the same thing. The Cliff Notes version is that significantly inbred monarchs were raised in an incubator in Florida and then released in San Antonio, Texas. Apparently there is a discrepancy in how many of those monarchs were recovered in Mexico. One source says five, another nine. However, many of the anti-rearers are now acting all smug because many of these inbred monarchs raised essentially in caves could not figure out which way was south. Surprise, surprise, surprise!
The headlines of course say, “Captive Raised Monarchs Unable to Migrate,” where as a more accurate headline would be “Inbred Monarchs Raised in an Incubator Unable to Migrate.” This more accurate headline will never be printed however because it does not elicit the desired response. The desired response is to guilt teachers and grandmothers into stopping their evil ways. “Sorry Billy”, Granny says, tears streaming down her face. “If we keep raising monarchs you’ll go to hell.”
Am I exaggerating? Of course, but only slightly. Anti-rearers have been proclaiming their position for decades, but without evidence to prove it. Last year they tried to misrepresent other researcher’s data. This year they are hoping nobody will put on their thinking caps.
If you have raised monarchs at home or school, you are not going to hell, unless of course you’ve been doing it in the refrigerator with the door closed and next to the sauerkraut. Nor are you single-handedly destroying the monarch population, or the monarch migration, or the monarch fashion shoe industry.
Here is a link to last year’s response. It all still applies. Be sure to read the comments section for a correction regarding Oe.
Keep doing what you’re doing, just do it responsibly!