• Estimating the annual distribution of monarch butterflies in Canada over 16 years using citizen science data

      Flockhart, D. T. Tyler; Larrivee, Maxim; Prudic, Kathleen L.; Norris, D. Ryan; Univ Arizona, Dept Entomol (CANADIAN SCIENCE PUBLISHING, NRC RESEARCH PRESS, 2019-06-21)
      Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus, Linnaeus, 1758) are comprised of two migratory populations separated by the Rocky Mountains and are renowned for their long-distance movements among the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Both populations have declined over several decades across North America prompting all three countries to evaluate conservation efforts. Monitoring monarch distribution and abundance is a necessary aspect of ongoing management in Canada where they are a species at risk. We used presence-only data from two citizen science data sets to estimate the annual breeding distribution of monarch butterflies in Canada between 2000 and 2015. Monarch breeding distribution in Canada varied widely among years owing to natural variation, and when considering the upper 95% of the probability of occurrence, the annual mean breeding distribution in Canada was 484 943 km(2) (min: 173 449 km(2); max: 1 425 835 km(2)). The area of occurrence was approximately an order of magnitude larger in eastern Canada than in western Canada. Habitat restoration for monarch butterflies in Canada should prioritize productive habitats in southern Ontario where monarchs occur annually and, therefore, likely contribute most to the long-term viability of monarchs in eastern North America. Overall, our assessment sets the geographic context to develop successful management strategies for monarchs in Canada.
    • Too much of a good thing? A landscape-of-fear analysis for collared peccaries (Pecari tajacu) reveals hikers act as a greater deterrent than thorny or bitter food

      Bleicher, Sonny S.; Rosenzweig, Michael L.; Univ Arizona, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol (CANADIAN SCIENCE PUBLISHING, NRC RESEARCH PRESS, 2018-04)
      To study how wildlife perceive recreating humans, we studied the habitat selection of a human commensalist, the collared peccary (Pecari tajacu (Linnaeus, 1758)). We measured peccary activity patterns in an area of high human activity (Tumamoc Hill Desert Laboratory in Tucson, Arizona, USA) using a landscape-of-fear analysis. We examined whether the perception of risk from human activity interacted with the chemical (tannin) and mechanical (thorns) antipredator mechanisms of local plant species. The peccaries avoided food stations near a hiking trail. The population foraged less near houses, i.e., moderate human activity, than in the perceived safety of a small wadi. Plant defence treatments impacted the harvesting of food only in the safe zone, suggesting that risk trumps food selectivity. The strong effect of the hiking trail on habitat selection in this disturbance-loving species is an indicator of a much larger impact on sensitive species in conservation areas.