Monarch butterfly recovery plan

Monday, March 23, 2015 - 4:10pm
Event Type: 

Dr. Chip Taylor from University of Kansas's Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology will be presenting this research as a part of the spring semester seminar series. The seminar will be located in E164 Lagomarcino Hall.

Abstract. Monarch numbers have been declining for more than a decade. Although the decline is associated with a number of factors, the main driver is clearly habitat loss due to changes in agriculture. Sustaining the monarch migration requires that we recognize how annual loss of habitat, habitat fragmentation, impact of management practices associated with “marginal’ lands, as well as pesticide applications and residues affect monarchs. Assessment of these impacts needs to encompass the milkweed/monarch corridor (also known as the I35 corridor) that runs from Minnesota to the Texas border with Mexico. Monarchs need an abundance of seasonally available resources throughout this area. The pace of change through this corridor is extraordinary and it appears that the monarch population will continue to decline unless 1) the annual loss of habitat (1.0 to 1.5 million acres), is addressed and 2) large-scale restoration of milkweeds is initiated to offset the losses of habitat that have occurred over the last 15 years. Recovery of the monarch population will require 1) identification of landscapes to which milkweeds can be restored 2) a commitment to restore enough habitat to offset the annual losses of habitat due to development and intensification of agriculture and 3) development of sufficient capacity to restore milkweeds and nectar plants to at least 10 million acres additional acres to offset the losses of habitat that have occurred over the last 15 years. By moving rapidly to implement this plan, the means to offset annual habitat losses can be developed in three years, and by the fourth year it should be possible to address the habitat losses that have accumulated over the last 15 years. While our focus is on monarchs, it should be clear that this effort is about more than monarchs, it’s about all the species, the pollinators, ground nesting birds and the plants themselves that are constitutes this diverse grassland/forb community.

The ENT seminar series is coordinated by Greg Courtney and Rick Hellmich. Please contact them with any questions about this event.