Opinion: conservation of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) could be enhanced with analyses and publication of citizen science tagging data

@article{Davis2015OpinionCO,
  title={Opinion: conservation of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) could be enhanced with analyses and publication of citizen science tagging data},
  author={Andrew K. Davis},
  journal={Insect Conservation and Diversity},
  year={2015},
  volume={8}
}
  • A. K. Davis
  • Published 1 March 2015
  • Environmental Science
  • Insect Conservation and Diversity
Recent declines in the size of overwintering colonies of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in eastern North America have stimulated calls for greater conservation efforts of the migratory phenomenon. Conservation decisions, however, should be guided by sound science, and the migratory phase of this population is the least‐studied part of its life cycle. Data from large‐scale citizen science programs can help address this knowledge gap. For over 20 years, volunteers have been tagging… 

Long-Term Trends in Eastern North American Monarch Butterflies: A Collection of Studies Focusing on Spring, Summer, and Fall Dynamics

TLDR
The collection of articles in this special feature was produced by researchers associated with a variety of nation-wide citizen science projects that have been tracking monarchs for many years, with the overarching goal of identifying long-term trends in their abundance or distribution outside of the wintering period.

A Review of Published and Unpublished Findings from 20 Long-term Monitoring Studies of Eastern Monarch Butterflies: the Population was Never in Danger, Despite Recent Winter Colony Declines

There are a large number of wildlife and insect species that are in trouble on this planet, and most believe that monarch butterflies in eastern North America are too, because of the well-publicized

Migration in butterflies: a global overview

TLDR
Migratory butterflies occur worldwide, although the geographic distribution of migration in butterflies is poorly resolved, with most data so far coming from Europe, USA, and Australia.

Mechanisms behind the monarch's decline

TLDR
Data released earlier this year suggest that reduced success during migration, due to environmental and anthropogenic factors, may help explain the falling monarch population.

Scientific Note: Aggregation of Epityches eupompe (Nymphalidae: Ithomiini) in southern Brazil

An aggregation of thousands of adults of the ithomiine butterfly Epityches eupompe was observed in June-July 2017 at Intervales State Park, Sao Paulo State, Brazil, with another observation from an

Evaluating Cardiac Reactions of Monarch Butterflies to Human Handling across Three Life Stages

  • A. K. Davis
  • Biology
    The Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society
  • 2020
TLDR
Investigating if brief periods of handling monarch larvae, pupae, or adults elevates their heart rate using either microscopy or an electronic heart monitor designed for invertebrates elucidates the unseen physiological impact of direct human contact on developing monarchs (larvae and pupae).

TAXONOMIC REVISIONS IN THE SILKMOTH GENUS SATURNIA ( LEPIDOPTERA : SATURNIIDAE )

  • 2020

A Citizen Army for Science: Quantifying the Contributions of Citizen Scientists to our Understanding of Monarch Butterfly Biology

The first monarch citizen science program was launched in the 1950s and, since then, thousands of volunteers have made fundamental contributions to our accumulating knowledge of monarch biology. We

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 35 REFERENCES

Characteristics of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) that stopover at a site in coastal South Carolina during fall migration

While the annual fall migration of eastern North American monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) to wintering sites in central Mexico is a well-known and frequently-studied phenomenon, one aspect of

Characteristics of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) that stopover at a site in coastal South Carolina during fall migration

  • W. Mcc
  • Environmental Science
  • 2012
While the annual fall migration of eastern North American monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) to wintering sites in central Mexico is a well-known and frequently-studied phenomenon, one aspect of

The fall migration flyways of monarch butterflies in eastern North America revealed by citizen scientists

The migration of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) from Canada and the United States to overwintering sites in Mexico is one of the world’s most amazing biological phenomena, although recent

Biological Observations of Monarch Butterfly Behavior at a Migratory Stopover Site: Results from a Long-term Tagging Study in Coastal South Carolina

TLDR
A long-term study of monarchs at one stopover site in coastal South Carolina where over 12,000 monarchs have been captured, measured and tagged (with numbered stickers to track recovery rates) over 13 years serves as an example of the potential that monarch tagging studies have to advance scientific understanding of monarch migration.

Identifying Large- and Small-Scale Habitat Characteristics of Monarch Butterfly Migratory Roost Sites with Citizen Science Observations

TLDR
Considering the large variety of tree types used and the diversity of landcover types around roost sites, monarchs appear highly-adaptable in terms of roost site selection.

An Examination of Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) Autumn Migration in Coastal Virginia

Abstract Although it is known that monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in North America east of the Rocky Mountains migrate each fall to overwintering sites in central Mexico, the migratory routes

COMPARATIVE SUCCESS OF MONARCH BUTTERFLY MIGRATION TO OVERWINTERING SITES IN MEXICO FROM INLAND AND COASTAL SITES

Prior tagging studies at Atlantic coastal sites in New Jersey and Virginia suggested that fall migrant monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus L., Nymphalidae: Danainae) of the eastern North American

Are female monarch butterflies declining in eastern North America? Evidence of a 30-year change in sex ratios at Mexican overwintering sites

TLDR
Additional evidence from autumn migration collections appears to confirm that proportions of females are declining, and also suggests the sex ratio is shifting on breeding grounds, while breeding monarchs face a number of threats.

Understanding and misunderstanding the migration of the monarch butterfly (Nymphalidae) in North America: 1857-1995

TLDR
The present paper reconstructs the history of understanding the migration of the monarch butterfly in North America and reflects the spirit in which Charles Remington, then a graduate student at Harvard, and his friend and colleague Harry Clench founded The Lepidopterists' Society are reflected.

An experimental displacement and over 50 years of tag-recoveries show that monarch butterflies are not true navigators

TLDR
This work suggests that monarchs breeding in eastern North America likely combine simple orientation mechanisms with geographic features that funnel them toward Mexican overwintering sites, a remarkable achievement considering that these butterflies weigh less than a gram and travel thousands of kilometers to a site they have never seen.