Hundreds, Possibly Thousands, Monarch Butterflies Found Dead in - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Hundreds, Possibly Thousands, Monarch Butterflies Found Dead in Queen Anne's County

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KENT ISLAND, Md. - Something is killing butterflies on Kent Island. The mystery has neighbors baffled and some people are blaming pesticides.

Others, like Queen Anne's County Conservation Association Executive Director Jay Falstad are searching for answers. Walking alongside trees in the Bayside neighborhood. Falstad searched the brush, stopping to pull one by one the bodies of dead monarch butterflies.

Within minutes, Falstad collected two handfuls. That, he says, is unusual.

"This is the first time I've heard of it," Falstad said. "There are obviously other examples around the country where these things have occurred but I have not heard about it on Kent Island."

For two weeks, neighbors have found butterflies by the hundreds possibly thousands. Falstad says it's unusually quiet in the neighborhood - a sign butterflies are not the only victims.

"Right now everything is just speculative," Falstad said.

For now, Falstad says he's turning to the state, appealing to Maryland's Department of Agriculture for information on its most recent mosquito spraying on Sept. 18.
But a department spokesperson says its sprays hold ingredients that are "similar to those found in flea treatments for pets. The formulation is used statewide and is not known to affect larger species like monarch butterflies."

Falstad says the Bayside neighborhood is a hot spot for monarchs migrating north to south. As it stands, he says the monarch butterfly is currently considered a threatened species.

 

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