3 years ago



Melanesia Melanesia is

Melanesia Melanesia is made up of islands in the western Pacific, including thousands of islands north and east of Australia to Fiji, notably Papua and West New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and New Caledonia. Monarchs are widespread in these islands. Australia Monarchs are widely distributed in coastal areas of Australia: Since the early 1870s, D. plexippus has colonized most parts of eastern Australia, the Adelaide area and a small portion of Western Australia (Zalucki, 1986; James, 1993). There is a temperature-induced behavioural distinction among the Australian populations in that the majority of Queensland populations breed continuously throughout the year, whilst a range contraction occurs from southern Queensland and northern New South Wales with the onset of autumn, leading to the development of three eastern population centres: the southern Queensland/Northern New South Wales coastal strip extending up in to the tropics, the Sydney Basin/Hunter Valley region, and the Adelaide area (James, 1979; James, 1993; Zalucki & Rochester, 1999) (Shepard et al. 2002, p. 438). Although monarchs were first noted in 1870, they were common by 1873 (Clarke and Zalucki 2004). Monarchs may have first arrived in Australia during a series of cyclones, from Vanuatu and New Caledonia where they were already established. They originally used the deliberately introduced Asclepias curassavica as a host plant, although Calotropis species were also present early: Calotrope is thought to have been introduced into Australia during one of the Queensland gold rushes in the late 1800s or early 1900s. It is not known exactly how it was introduced, but it may have been deliberately introduced as an ornamental or accidentally introduced in the packing of camel saddles. Calotrope was first recorded as naturalised in semi-arid northern Queensland in 1935, but was probably present for some time prior to this (Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001), see: Monarchs currently use Gomphocarpus fruticosus, G. physocarpus, and Calotropis procera, in addition to A. curassavica (James 1993). Each of these milkweeds is considered invasive in some parts of Australia (Ward and Johnson 2013), and there are attempts at eradication ( Based on allozyme studies, Australian monarchs do not represent the full genetic diversity of the North American population (Shepard et al. 2002). Monarchs breed year round in parts of Australia, and overwinter in other parts (Zalucki and Rochester 2004). Roughly, the population size of monarchs is Australia is estimated to be less than 250,000, much smaller than in the 1960’s (personal communication, David James to Sarina Jepsen, June 18, 2014); and monarchs may be threatened by coastal development, drought and increasing temperatures, and by eradication of milkweed from pastures due to concerns about toxicity to grazing animals (James 1983, p. 197). Monarch ESA Petition 152

Philippines Although monarchs were reported from the Philippines in about 1900 (Vane-Wright 1993, as cited in Zalucki and Clarke 2004, p. 121), they have not been found recently. Southeast China Monarchs were reported in Hong Kong the 1890’s (Walker 1914, as cited in Zalucki and Clarke 2004, p. 121), but recent descriptions of milkweed butterflies in Hong Kong (Wong et al. 2004) and adjacent Macau (Easton and Pun 1997) do not list D. plexippus. Galapagos The Galapagos Islands are a thousand kilometers off the coast of Ecuador. No native milkweed hosts for monarchs were present before 1905 when Asclepias currasavica was introduced. It now grows in gardens, and has naturalized, mainly in the agricultural areas around towns on certain islands. Monarchs were first reported in the 1920’s (Roque 1998). Their population size, status and threats are unknown. Bermuda Bermuda consists of a cluster of islands about 1000 km east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. According to Hilburn (1989), Gomphocarpus physocarpa and Asclepias curassavica were introduced and became naturalized by the time the first monarchs were reported in 1850’s. By the late 1800’s monarchs were very abundant throughout the year, but are much less common now. Milkweeds have been displaced by intense development, resulting in a very restricted distribution (Hilburn 1989). In addition, both caterpillars and adults are preyed upon by giant toads, Bufo marinus L. (p. 498). In 1988, the government started a Monarch Conservation Project to encourage citizens to plant A. curassavica and G. physocarpa in gardens, and commissioned a study of monarchs in the islands (Hilburn 1989, p. 495). Total numbers of monarchs have not been determined. However, the population may be replenished by monarchs that have been seen arriving over the ocean from the north, and also leaving from the south, in September and October, presumably migrants from North America. Macaronesia Several islands in the North Atlantic off the coast of Europe and Africa have resident monarch populations. These have been described by Neves et al. (2001, p. 19). Canary Islands …in the Canary Islands, a local monarch population has been listed at least since 1880 (Higgins and Riley 1970) or 1887 (Leestmans 1975; Baez 1998). It inhabits the entire archipelago except for Lanzarote Island, and adults are observed flying throughout the year (Baez 1998). The larvae feed on Asclepias curassavica L. (Lesstmans 1975; Baez 1998), G. fruticosus (Asclepiadaceae) and G. arboreum (Malvaceae) (Baez 1998). Monarch ESA Petition 153

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