I think we all know Monarch butterflies and milkweed go together. Do you know what other pollinators and plants are evolved together? Or which flower shapes, fragrances, colors and bloom times attract certain pollinators? The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center recently sent a quiz that answers these questions. ‘Thought maybe you’d like to test your knowledge.
If you’re into native plants and the insects that co-exist with them, you’ve probably heard the name Lincoln Brower. Lincoln was a world renowned Monarch biologist and a conservation leader. He passed away on July 17, 2018. The Monarch butterflies have lost a champion.
Although entomologist Fred A Urquhart is credited with making the location of the Monarch butterflies over-wintering grounds known to us in 1975, it was Dr Brower who brought preservation of the site to our attention.
Monarch Watch’s Chip Taylor wrote, “It was through his advocacy and work with the Mexican government that the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (MBBR) was established to protect the overwintering monarch population in Mexico. Linc was among the first to recognize that the weakest portion of the monarch’s annual cycle is the formation of the overwintering colonies within the oyamel forests on a few mountain tops in a relatively small region of central Mexico. He saw that protection of these sites was key to the preservation of the monarch migration and he worked tirelessly to safeguard these locations, sometimes earning the wrath of authorities and some colleagues.” (Monarch Watch Blog – Dr. Lincoln Brower)
Indeed, Lincoln felt we should value the Monarch migration in the same way we value the Mona Lisa. It is part of our history; part of our culture. There are Monarch butterflies elsewhere in North America and in other locations such as the Caribbean islands, Trinidad, Bermuda and South America. But the incredible migration from south to north and back again is only seen here in North America. That’s why it is so terribly important we do everything we can to preserve this biological phenomenon.
Lincoln P. Brower Award
To carry on Dr Brower’s legacy and to continue to strengthen monarch conservation research, the Monarch Butterfly Fund has established the Lincoln P. Brower Award. This will be an annual grant of $3,000 to support undergraduate or graduate students in research on the conservation of monarch butterflies and their habitats. To donate.
There is a new citizen science program in America being co-hosted by the Monarch Joint Venture (MJV) organization. It’s called the Integrated Monarch Monitoring Program (IMMP). This new initiative engages biologists, land managers and citizen scientists in monitoring monarchs and their habitat across the US breeding and migratory range.
IMMP is designed to collect data on a variety of monarch population and habitat targets, help scientists understand the threats monarchs face, and inform habitat enhancement strategies.
To gather information from different land use types that support monarch habitat, the IMMP uses a spatially balanced, random grid system to prioritize areas for monitoring. It captures many aspects of habitat quality, threats, and habitat use by monarchs and data contribute to existing population and habitat models that inform broad goals for monarch conservation!
IMMP is divided into several activities from which participants can choose to do one or more at a monitoring site. Monitoring sites may either be a priority-ranked site selected by the IMMP or a personally selected site.
Activity 1: Milkweed & Blooming Plant Survey 2-4 hours, monthly
Activity 2: Monarch Egg & Larva Survey 1-2 hours, weekly
Activity 3: Adult Monarch Survey 30 minutes, every other week
Activity 4: Monarch Survival & Parasitism 30-60 minutes, daily while raising larva
Activity 5: Red Imported Fire Ants Survey variable in Southern US
For more information and to register for a training visit: MJV IMMP.
Integrated Monarch Monitoring Program Training
• June 2-3: Madison, WI
• June 9-10: Bloomington, MN
• June 16-17: Hennepin Co., MN
• June 23-24: Bradner, OH
• July 21-22: New London, WI
Training is two days; cost $50. The fee covers the expense of lunch during the workshop and your very own monitoring kit. Need-based scholarships are available upon request — please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register, find more information, or request a workshop near you, visit: MJV IMMP.
Financial support comes from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Monarch Joint Venture.
Reprinted from Midwest Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (MAFWA):
Seeking Public Comments on Draft of Mid-America Monarch Conservation Strategy
The Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (MAFWA) welcomes public comments through May 31 on a draft conservation plan that provides a blueprint for reversing the decline of the eastern monarch butterfly population. Click here to view or download a PDF of the Mid-America Monarch Conservation Strategy 2018-2038, and please direct all comments, questions, and suggestions to MidAmericaMonarch@gmail.com [Read more…]