Monarchs and Roadsides: A Research Update

Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:30am
Event Type: 

This webinar will highlight current research investigating roadside habitat for monarch butterflies: Speakers include

Alison Cariveau, Science Coordinator at Monarch Joint Venture, will discuss the project “Evaluating the suitability of roadway corridors for use by monarch butterflies.” The project develops tools for roadside ROW managers to optimally place and manage habitat for monarchs, , including a GIS prioritization tool, field-based habitat calculator, and best management practices.

Dr. Kristen Baum, Professor at Oklahoma State University, will discuss the current distribution and abundance of milkweed on roadsides in the southern Great Plains and the response to different mowing regimes. Dr. Baum’s research focuses on the effects of land use and management practices on pollinators, including monarch butterflies, native bees, and honey bees.

Dr. Tyler J. Grant, Postdoctoral Research Associate at Iowa State University, will present a spatially-explicit agent-based model of monarch butterfly movement and egg-laying. The model determines the effect of spatial arrangement of habitat patches on how monarchs move across the landscape and lay eggs, and demonstrates the relative benefit of planting milkweed in ROW, Conservation Reserve Program land, and other locations.

Dr. Anuj Sharma, Associate Professor at Iowa State University, will present a solution to identify milkweed using a vehicle mounted camera to determine the density of milkweed around the road. Dr. Sharma uses AI and deep learning based machine vision algorithm to identify objects of interest and improve the quality of life.

Teresa Blader, Master’s student at Iowa State University, will present a study on the patch size effects on monarch oviposition on gravel roadsides. Her research shows that monarchs utilize about 10% of milkweed stems regardless of varying total stem numbers and observes a much larger milkweed density than was thought to exist on roadsides.

Presentations will be followed by a Q&A session.