Brower Weighs in on Oregon Monarch Release Regs

From the public comments file of the State of Oregon:

>>Rule Coordinator- Sue Gooch
Oregon Dept. of Agriculture
635 Capitol St. NE, 97301
10 December 2013
sgooch@oda.state.or.us

Dear Sue Gooch,

This is in regard to your proposed rule making that monarch
butterflies not be approved for import and release in Oregon.

I heartily approve your previous decision to prohibit these transfers.
I have studied monarch butterflies and published on them for the past
half century (> 200 publications in peer reviewed journals). I fully
agree with the arguments and evidence that importing and purchasing
reared butterflies is scrambling the science of biogeography; and we
also know from analyses in my laboratory and others that commercially
bred monarch butterflies are frequently disease-ridden with the insidious
Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, a neogregarine protozooan pathogen.

It is very likely that the commercial butterflies reared in captivity for
several generations are also laden with other pathogens that are
either undescribed or very difficult to identify.

Given the all time low of the eastern North American population of the
monarch butterfly, the precarious state of the west coast population,
and the potential collapse of the entire North American migratory
phenomenon, wisdom dictates that your proposed rule for monarchs
is absolutely the correct action to uphold.

Butterflies are under assault generally and spreading diseases and
muddling their natural ranges and biology is to be avoided NOW.

Sincerely yours,

Professor Lincoln P. Brower
Research Professor of Biology
Sweet Briar College
Sweet Briar, VA 24595
(and Distinguished Service Professor of Zoology Emeritus, University of Florida)
Telephone: 434-277-5065
email: brower@sbc.edu<<

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