Date: 6/21/17 5:14 pm
From: Norman Lavers <0000000a09e6b845-dmarc-request...>
Subject: Re: whip-poor-will article - Native Plants and Insects
We concur with everyone's findings. We have lived in the same house in Arkansas for 41 years . We used to have a yard full of butterflies and wasps and syrphids and bees and bugs. The drop in the numbers and number of species is, I agree, terrifying. No building has taken place very near us but every year the fields around are drenched in pesticides (we have never used any). Sometimes after the planes have been we find numbers of dead insects on our driveway. Often our trees and shrubs suffer from the drift. We used to have to step carefully when the hundreds of baby toads were hopping all over the yard like a moving mat. This year we have found just 2 baby toads.
Today we went out to Big Lake NWR and then on to the Game and Fish WMA at Mallard Lake next door. We saw very very few butterflies at Big Lake but were glad at last to see the road edges there not being shaved all the way down each levee as in the past few years. There were big stands of Common Milkweed that I have never seen there before.....2 Monarchs and a few dark Swallowtails but nothing else. We then drove past Mallard Lake and up the eastern edge of the WMA. The ground on the west of the road had been cleared off, a wide and long area of almost bare dirt but with clumps of Dogbane and Common Milkweed. We stopped at each patch of plants and found some butterflies.......Funereal Duskywing, White M Hairstreak, Bronze Copper (hard to find elsewhere in Arkansas).  At the last patch of milkweed we counted 10 Monarch caterpillars mostly close to or in their last instar. What bothered me though was that so many of the plants were twisted, leaves contorted and bleached in places.  I have to suspect an herbicide was used to clear this area.  When our state agencies are doing things like this (or as at many State Parks mowing every patch of open ground as short as possible and up to the very edges of the lakes) what chance do the butterflies and other insects have?





Jerry, I was just talking with a friend about this today also. In no way do I find current conditions to be normal. As a child I put up sheets at night with a light to attract hundreds of different varieties of moths. I remember windshields at night would be covered with insects, and car grills during the day had butterflies stuck to them. The asphalt or sidewalk below parking lot lights had fantastic huge beetles to discover.There were magnificent cecropia, polyphemus, luna and other silk worm moths around the windows and porch light at night and yes, insects of all kinds flew into the house when the door was opened.  I believed that by protecting this land and not using poisons on the lawn, around the house, in the gardens, or indoors, we would witness their return. But when I go to the "garden" department of ANY store I see yards and sometimes acres of shelves full of poisons. Most are residual and many are systemic. Imagine how many tons of tick granules and herbicides are used in a single housing development on lawns which then also kill other insects and the birds that eat them and the amphibians and reptiles that eat them. Our culture has become afraid of nature. I have not seen the return of insects over the past 23 years living here, but rather their demise. We are indeed in the throes of an extinction.   Judith Ninestone, Carroll County
On Jun 21, 2017, at 1:40 PM, Jerry Davis <jwdavis...> wrote:

Donald, thanks for sharing.   I was wondering if there is anyone on this list serve is old enough to remember when we had insects for bird food. But this is not only bird food, insects fuel the world. I was born in the last millennia and remember having moths, lacewings, preying mantis and beetles at my porch light and on the screen door and when opened they would fly into the house. We had beetles and moths around the street lights and they covered the streets and crackled under car tires when driving by.  Mayflies along the rivers covered the roads and sometimes became slick enough to be a driving safety hazard. Dig into your crinkled cranium and dig out some of the past memories of when we did have native insects and food for birds. If you are not careful, the reality of the past may get lost in your mind to the point that you think the current conditions are normal and that is the way it should be.   Jerry Wayne Davis Hot Springs, AR   From: Donald C. Steinkraus Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 10:40 AM To: <ARBIRD-L...> Subject: Re: whip-poor-will article   1oo% true.  Humans are turning the Earth into a desert.  There are many parts of the world that are ecological deserts that used to once be teeming with life.  I recall a talk at the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America where entomologists went back to places in Brazil where hundreds of butterflies were once documented and now are cities, towns, shanty towns, extending for miles in every direction.
 
  From: The Birds of Arkansas Discussion List <ARBIRD-L...> on behalf of Judy & Don <9waterfall9...>
Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 7:59:06 AM
To: <ARBIRD-L...>
Subject: whip-poor-will article   We hear Chuck-wills-widows every night, but it has been several years since we've heard a Whip-poor-will. 

Here's an article on moths and whippoorwills that mentions habitat restoration using controlled fire.

http://thesouthern.com/sports/outdoors/the-disappearing-whippoorwill/article_4cd065e0-879f-11e2-939a-001a4bcf887a.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share

Judith
Ninestone, Carroll County
 


On Wednesday, June 21, 2017 6:31 PM, Jerry Davis <jwdavis...> wrote:


That is terrifying and worse still is most people think that is a good thing.  Jerry Wayne DavisHot Springs, aR  From: Janine Perlman Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 6:21 PMTo: <ARBIRD-L...> Subject: Re: whip-poor-will article - Native Plants and Insects Since a large housing development went in adjacent to us, insects at our porch light---still in the middle of tens of acres of woods---have decreased by 99%.  It's terrifying.

Janine

On 6/21/2017 5:36 PM, Judy & Don wrote:



 
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