On Oct. 4 the following article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper about a release of 500 locally raised monarch butterflies to celebrate the grand opening of Calif. Academy of Sciences new eco-friendly building in Golden Gate Park:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 13B3HJ.DTL
According to the article, the release was just a "few flaps away from the grove of eucalyptus trees where volunteers each year count the local population of monarchs as part of a statewide monitoring
program." "To release butterflies so close to a roost completely compromises the season," according to one of the butterfly counters.
In the article, Xerces representative Mia Monroe told the reporter: "the best outcome of the academy's butterfly release would be new legislation outlawing such releases altogether."
However, if you look the monitoring program count numbers for the past 9-10 years, you will see that NO monarchs have even been sighted at the San Francisco cluster sites over that long stretch of years:
http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k75/4af/ggn.jpg And that's despite 10 years worth of continual school, wedding and funeral releases in San Francisco. Or to put it another way, even if commercial and school releases had been outlawed 10 years ago, the Thanksgiving Counts in San Francisco would still have been zero.
Since the "roosts" the butterfly counters talk about in San Francisco don't really exist anymore, the 500 farm raised monarchs that were released at the Academy of Sciences on Sept. 27 won't actually interfere with the upcoming Thanksgiving census; i.e. zero monarchs will be counted in the Golden Gate Park eucalyptus grove this coming November despite the release.
Same general situation in Los Angeles and San Diego: http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k75/4af/ggr.jpg i.e. not hardly any monarchs have been seen at the urban and suburban Thanksgiving Count cluster sites in San Diego, (and to a lesser extent, Los Angeles) over the past 9 years despite 9 years worth of ongoing commercial and school releases.
I've heard a lobbyist based in Sacramento, Calif. (possibly hired by or representing the Xerces Society) has been trying to pursuade legislators to introduce new legislation to restrict or outlaw releases because of what recently happened in San Francisco.