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I've enjoyed caterpillars for over 50 years, and was once an avid butterfly collector (gave it up because alive is more beautiful than dead). I've long noticed a marked decline in butterfly populations! Habitat destruction and ensuing host plant scarcity is part of the reason. But I strongly suspect that widespread use of the pest-controller Bacillus thuringiensis (sold as Dipel and Thuricide) is also to blame. Broad application to food crops is one thing, but widespread small-scale use (i.e. by home gardeners) needs to be curtailed. The "collateral damage" to native butterflies and moths could be catastrophic for them. How easy it is to hand-pick garden offenders instead (more interesting, too)!