Estimating the annual distribution of monarch butterflies in Canada over 16 years using citizen science data
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Entomol
Keywordsspecies distribution model
MetadataShow full item record
CitationLarrivée, M., Prudic, K. L., Norris, D. R., & Flockhart, D. T. Estimating the annual distribution of monarch butterflies in Canada over 16 years using citizen science data.
Rights© 2019 Tyler Flockhart et al. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.
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AbstractMonarch 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.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsLiber Ero Postdoctoral Fellowship; University Research Chair from the University of Guelph