“It might take the monarchs as many as four to five generations to complete the journey all the way back up to Canada”

Monarch butterflies travel all the way to Dominica! Researchers from Canada say they take generations to do it!

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterflies Migration Tracked Through Generations Across North America

August 07, 2013 – News Release

Everyone knows all about the epic breeding journey taken each year by generations of monarch butterflies between Mexico and Canada, right? Not so fast, say researchers including University of Guelph biologists.

Until now, linking adult butterflies and their birthplaces during a complicated annual migration spanning all of eastern North America and involving up to five generations of the iconic insects had eluded scientists.

Now for the first time, researchers have mapped that migration pattern across the continent over an entire breeding season. That information might help conserve a creature increasingly threatened by loss of habitat and food sources, says Tyler Flockhart, a PhD student in U of G’s Department of Integrative Biology.

“This tells us where individuals go and where they’re coming from,” he said.

Flockhart is lead author of a paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B with Prof. Ryan Norris and co-authors based in Saskatchewan, Colorado and Australia.

Their new study traced successive generations of adult monarchs to their birthplaces between the southern United States and Ontario over a single breeding season.

Before this, scientists had only a rough idea of those annual colonization patterns, said Prof. Ryan Norris, Integrative Biology. “You could have a monarch showing up in Ontario, but we didn’t know exactly where it came from.”

Tracking migration patterns is vital to understanding why monarch numbers are declining and predicting the effects on the insects of milkweed plant loss, habitat destruction and other factors, he said.

In 2012, the smallest-ever population of monarchs was recorded in their Mexican overwintering grounds. “They’ve been declining steadily,” said Flockhart.

Monarchs normally show up in southern Ontario by June or July. This summer, few had been sighted here by the end of July.

The researchers used chemical markers in butterfly wings to match “waves” of insect generations with their birthplaces. Monarch larvae eat only milkweed. The plant’s chemical signature varies from place to place, allowing scientists to pinpoint a butterfly’s birthplace by analyzing those chemical elements in its wings.

Flockhart spent summer 2011 following the northward migration and netting more than 800 monarchs for analysis. Beginning a road trip in southern Texas, he logged 35,000 kilometres across 17 states and two provinces. “As far as I know, it’s the broadest sample of monarch butterflies through an entire breeding season across North America.”

Monarch colonies overwinter in Mexico. During the breeding season beginning in April, successive generations were born in Texas and Oklahoma, then in the U.S. Midwest, and then over a broad area spanning the northeast coast and the Midwest.

One key stop is the “corn belt” in the U.S Midwest. There a breeding “explosion” sends vast numbers of adults in several directions, including to Canada, said Norris.

He said loss of milkweed plants and planting of genetically modified corn and soy in the Midwest have affected monarch survival. “If habitats in the Midwest continue to decline, then monarchs will lose the ability to expand the breeding range, including those butterflies that end up here in Ontario.”

It’s also important to protect breeding habitat in other locations, he said, including parts of southern Texas that supply future generations to breed in the Midwest.

“To lose monarchs would be a huge blow to the environment and to the public. People can easily identify monarchs. It might be the first butterfly they see or catch as a child, and it’s often the first story they hear about how animals migrate.”

Adds Flockhart: “Every school kid knows about monarchs.”

For more information:
Prof. Ryan Norris
University of Guelph
rnorris@uoguelph.ca

http://www.uoguelph.ca/news/2013/08/monarch_butterflies_migrations_tracked_generations.html

 

 

 

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Traditionally especially in tropical countries it is an accepted body care program to oil the body once or even twice a day. Usually it was coconut oil; made at home from coconuts growing in the area.

The benefits of this are many but one recent mind blowing study has shown a benefit most people do not think about.

Universities from Nebraska; Illinois; China and Brazil working in cooperation with The US Department of Agriculture have found that Coconut Oil is just as repellent as DEET.

DEET is an insect repellent that is used in products to prevent bites from insects such as mosquitoes, biting flies, fleas and small flying insects.

DEET has some serious side effects.

Manufacturers and governments still say it is safe to use but the people who use it a lot are disagreeing.

Children are affected the most as usual – The Canadian Government does not recommend using DEET on a daily basis for children younger than 12 years old for more than a month. For infants younger than 6 months old, they recommend not using it all.

The FDA does not recomend the use of DEET for children under 2 years old.

Mental retardation, muscular hypotonia, hearing loss, and coarctation of the aorta have been reported among infants whose mothers were exposed to DEET during pregnancy; however, a direct relationship between the use of DEET and birth defects has not been demonstrated.

They are still looking at the connections of the use of DEET to Gulf War Syndrome. US Veterans who used DEET-containing insect repellents showed signs of arthro-myo-neuropathy, a neurotoxic syndrome with symptoms including joint and muscle pain, fatigue after exertion, and tingling or numbing of the hands, arms, feet, and legs.

In 1982 workers at The National Everglades Park in Florida were concerned by the effects they were having from sustained use of DEET and they requested the National Park Service initiate a health hazard evaluation to evaluate occupational exposure to DEET among workers. It was found that more highly exposed workers had significantly higher prevalence of insomnia, muscle cramping, symptoms of mood disturbances,skin rash or blisters, and difficulty starting or stopping the urinary stream.

Until 1989, the standard-issue insect repellent used by the U. S. military contained 75% DEET, but concerns about its toxicity led to a search for new formulations. The 3M Company therefore developed a slow-release product containing only 35% DEET, which is the repellent currently used by military personnel

In the 1990’s a ban on any DEET product above 30% was put into place but it was negated by the courts and the companies who stood to make millions from the product.

The use of DEET has continued because vector-borne diseases account for 17% of all infectious diseases resulting in 700,000 human deaths annually. Repellents are a primary tool for reducing the impact of biting insects on humans and animals.

Universities have done multiple studies to find alternatives to DEET. Studies increased when they found mosquitoes were breeding immunity to the most powerful DEET concoction.

Lemon Eucalyptus is one natural product they found that compared to DEET in effectiveness but we will talk about that later.

In a cooperative study released in September 2018 that included U.S. Department of Agriculture, University of University of Kentucky, South China Agricultural University, Rutgers University, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology and the Universidade Federal de Goiás of Brazil they found that fatty acids derived from coconut oil are inexpensive and highly efficacious repellant compounds.

What is mind blowing is these coconut fatty acids are active against a wide array of insects including biting flies, ticks, bed bugs AND mosquitoes. The medium-chain length fatty acids from C8:0 to C12:0 were found to exhibit the predominant repellent activity.

Repellency was stronger and with longer residual activity than that of DEET.

In laboratory bioassays, these fatty acids repelled biting flies and bed bugs for two weeks after application, and ticks for one week.

An aqueous starch-based formulation containing natural coconut fatty acids was also prepared and shown to protect pastured cattle from biting flies up to 96-hours in the hot summer, which, to their knowledge, is the longest protection provided by a natural repellent product studied to date.

This is huge.

There is already DEET in our waters and environment and repeated exposure seems to increase the side effects.

Science has shown we can use coconut based products instead.

“The classic permaculture model sounds like this: permaculture practiced on the land leads to an abundance of material resources which can nourish and cultivate community.

Social permaculture implies a second narrative possibility that sounds like this: permaculture practiced in the community leads to an abundance of material resources which can nourish and cultivate the land.”  ~ Butterside.com

Farm
Eden Heights Garden

Social and Ecological Permaculture Design Certification Course

March 7th-19th 2016 – Mon. to Fri.

The course is being designed and delivered by Jeff “Papillon” Ribier of the ButterSide and Mike Wird of Regenerative Lifestyles, Colorado, and is based on the classic Permaculture curriculum as inspired by the work of Bill Mollison and David Holmgren.

It will take place in the Castle Bruce area at Eden Heights and Beyond Vitality plus various other sites across the island.

This certification course will expose participants to a wide variety of subjects in the form of lectures, demonstrations and hands-on workshops.  You will be studying in some of Dominica’s most beautiful gardens as well as in devastated and urbanized areas.  Residing on the design sites at Beyond Vitality and Eden Heights, looking through the lens of Permaculture, you will develop a deeper understanding of social and ecological patterns, principles and appropriate strategies.  And most importantly, the quality of the relationships between them.  There will be a series of presentations by local community organizers, farmers, botanists, builders too.

One thing you know when you visit Dominica whether you have an intricately planned itinerary or not there will be something more …

… because Dominica is such a spontaneous natural environment there is always more to enjoy then what is planned – a beautiful rainbow; the visit of an iguana;  a ripe fruit; the heavenly scent of flowers; the call of a bird.

The organizers are going out of their way to have both Dominican and International Students be able to participate. In my opinion this is essential for a truly eco sustainable educational tourism program.

This will enable the rare blending of those from Dominica interested in organic farming with those interested in organic farming throughout the world – I am sure a lifetime of friendships will evolve!

International Students:

You can choose to take a one week or two week program.

Early-bird rates end on December 15th, 2015.

Dominican Students:

Scholarships are available to a limited number of people – checkout who complete the PDC scholarship application form and return it to Sian at Eden Heights by January.

The program is available for people who can only attend a couple of days of workshops, as well as those interested in completing the whole course. Exact dates and topics for the 2 day packages will be confirmed in January.

There is a limited number of spots for this course, don’t wait too long.

Final sign-up deadline is February 1st, 2016 (no refunds are available beyond this date).

If you miss the deadline or wished there were a possibility for a payment plan, don’t give up!  We’ll work it out.

Contact us to see what can be arranged.  If you are choosing a payment plan, a non-refundable $300 deposit is required upon registration. Your registration will be handled with care and you will be on our standby list for the first available opening.

Accommodation is organized on a first registered/first served basis.

The link below gives you an overview of the itinerary; the topics covered during the training as well s the credentials of the teachers.

http://www.butterside.com/#instructors-guest-speakers

I have written about pesticides and the detrimental effect on humans for over 20 years.

We are all at risk for DEMENTIA; CANCER; OBESITY; INFERTILITY if we don’t start farming mindfully.

I have been shunned and laughed at by co-workers; family and friends but ……

I knew it would take a few years but someone with more influence then me would have to do an article – and perhaps people would sit up and pay attention!

Than you MSN

This is a copy of an MSN article

What’s Poisoning the Men of Martinique!

From the outside, the French Caribbean island of Martinique looks like a paradise: turquoise waters beneath colorful wooden homes that climb up lush green slopes of banana leaves. Life seems pretty laid-back — no one expects Martinique to lead the world in any rankings. But this Caribbean island does lead the world in one dark, tragic metric: prostate cancer rates. According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, in Martinique:

For every 100,000 men, 227 have prostate cancer.

That number is almost twice the rate of the second country on the list: Norway (129). The United States, by comparison, comes in at No. 14, with 98 incidents per 100,000. And Martinique’s is an outlier result that looks even more eyebrow-raising when you run comparisons to figure out why.

Maybe it’s the geography? Maybe something about this little pocket of the Caribbean causes the cancer rates to spike? If so, the neighboring islands of Dominica, or even Puerto Rico, should also show those rates. They don’t. While Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados are also in the top five, Martinique’s rates are still double. Maybe it’s the genetics? The island is a French colony, but if French genetics are the problem, then the French should have just as high rates. They don’t. Though their rates are the third-highest on the list, they are still half that of Martinique’s. And as a 2009 paper from theInternational Journal of Oncology found, “the growth curves of incidence rates” for Martinique and metropolitan France have been “significantly diverging since 1983.”

But some doctors have come up with a damning diagnosis: those green slopes of banana leaves. Turns out, they’re a little too green. The high cancer rate in Martinique is being linked to pesticides, primarily used in banana plantations to combat weevils. According to the 2009 paper, researchers found that the islanders’ connective tissue was being contaminated by “extremely high levels” of a nasty cocktail of “DDT, DDE, alpha, beta and gamma HCH, aldrin and dieldrin.” The paper concludes that environmental factors such as the “intensive and prolonged exposure to carcinogenic, mutagenic and reproductive toxin pesticides” may be the culprit.

One of the lead authors of that paper, Dr. Dominique Belpomme, professor in clinical oncology at the Paris University René Descartes, was asked in 2007 by politicians in Martinique to give advice on the health effects of chlordecone pollution — also called kepone, a colorless pesticide related to DDT. It is so toxic that in 2011, it was banned globally by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. “But today, unfortunately, chlordecone was replaced by the use of other toxic pesticides,” he tells OZY, “so there is no end to pollution.” Now, concerned citizens of Martinique believe the chemicals have poisoned their entire food chain, plus their rivers and coasts.

For its part, the government of Martinique, which declined to comment to OZY, has launched an investigation into the issue, through the country’s public-health prosecutors. Indeed, the rate has drawn some attention, with locals protesting and mainland France contributing aid to research and monitoring. But the results of these changes may not be evident for years. And that’s got not just the young men of Martinique worried. As Dr. Belpomme points out, the pesticides might also be linked to “women with breast cancer and children with congenital malformations.”

When I visited Canada a year ago I was amazed at the number of ‘solar farms’ that have been established over the last 10 years – I am so glad we are travelling that route too!

The Kalinago Territory will soon be home to a US $400,000 solar-based energy system guided and supported by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre and funded by the European Union.

The 125 kilowatt solar farm will also provide electricity to seven public facilities: two health centers, the Kalinago Barana Auté, two resource centers, the Council office and the library besides around 150 homes..

The output is projected to exceed the needs of the area so DOMLEC could purchase extra electricity generated – that is what Canada does – purchases extra energy produced by micro energy producing projects.

My favourite part of this project is the local community will be part of the installation process.

According to Minister responsible for Kalinago Affairs, Casius Darroux: “Fifteen young persons will receive training from this project. Five certified electricians from the Kalinago Territory will be working with the engineer for the installation. After the engineer leaves we will still have people on the ground who will man the project in terms of maintenance,”.

A renewable energy project training local people in the newest technologies – well spent funding in my humble opinion.

http://www.dominicavibes.dm/news-184106/

http://www.news.gov.dm/index.php/news/2810-solar-energy-for-the-kalinago-territory

http://caribbeanclimateblog.com/2015/10/16/solar-energy-for-the-kalinago-territory/

An upsetting video of a plastic straw being removed from the nostril of a sea turtle shows the grim reality of how plastic litter impacts marine life.

Straws are a fine example of the way we have been brainwashed into consuming. Since when did we need a straw to drink? Since companies started making them for profit! The drink does not stay cleaner or taste better.

Sometimes a small move can have huge effects. In my 20’s I decided to stop using straws. If you consider an average person uses at least 1 straw a day then throws it away – that means I have stopped with that 1 small move the release of 14,600 straws into the environment. I still have years left to continue this joyful move – clean up your environment – one small policy at a time.

I also saved 14,600 paper straw covers.

I have less BPA in my system from drinking liquids through a straw – BPA has all kinds of ramifications including obesity as this is one of the chemicals in our environment that causes the storage of unhealthy fat.

An upsetting video of a plastic straw being removed from the nostril of a sea turtle shows the grim reality of how plastic litter impacts marine life.

GENET is a European network of non-governmental non-profit organisations engaged in the critical debate of genetic engineering, founded in 1995. GENET‘s mission  is to provide information on genetic engineering to its member organisations and the interested public and to support their activities and campaigns. At the moment, GENET has 51 member organisations in 27 European countries. GENET is an international non-profit association under Swiss law.

The purpose of GENET is to exchange information on genetic engineering and campaigns focussing on:

  • plant and animal breeding
  • human health
  • agriculture
  • animal welfare
  • food production

and its implications on

  • biological diversity
  • human genetics and medicine
  • the environment
  • the socioeconomic development

By informing interested organisations and individuals GENET facilitates the citizens’ involvement in decision-making processes which have to guide the development of this technology.

List of GMO-Free Regions

Dominica is listed as GMO Free on this website.

GM Crop report relating to: Dominica