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Cabbage White

Posted on May 5, 2016

The Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) is a non-native “pest” butterfly species, and here you can see it is feeding on a Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), a non-native weed…but you know what, the ship has sailed on trying to solve that problem. I realize that is easy for me to say because I am not employed in agriculture.

Cabbage White Dandelion-0921

However, we are not going to wake up tomorrow and eliminate these species from North America. Even if we were to try it would be terribly harmful, and in the case of the dandelion we would be pumping even more toxic chemicals into our environment – as people regularly do to keep their manicured lawns looking like a useless monoculture.

Cabbage White Dandelion-0941

We should worry more about the thousands of other species that need our help and less about destroying a handful that, while they may be having a small negative impact, do not harm the natural world nearly as much as we do each day. Let’s just appreciate them for what they are and understand they still contribute to our food web.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator