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Tuesday, April 10 • 8:15am - 9:30am

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Opening Remarks

PLENARY PRESENTATION: Dwindling Numbers for an Iconic Insect: A Conservation Biologist Ponders Moving Beyond the Documentation of Declines - Dr. Karen Oberhauser, University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum

Monarch butterfly populations have been declining over the last 20 years. Because insect numbers are notoriously difficult to assess, and because they often show large year to year fluctuations, simply documenting this decline has been a challenge. It is now important to move beyond simple documentation and toward responding to the challenge posed by monarch conservation, and insect conservation in general. Monarchs are negatively impacted by many human activities, particularly habitat degradation and loss, pesticide use, climate change, vehicular collisions, invasive species, and pathogen spread in their dwindling numbers. Attributing the share of losses to each of these pressures is complicated by its population variability in time and space, thus complicating conservation solutions.

In this presentation, I’ll describe the amazing biology of migratory monarch populations, and the work of citizens and scientists in documenting monarch numbers at all stages of their migratory cycle. I’ll then discuss threats to monarchs, and potential responses to these threats. Because conservation biology must be at its essence a science of hope, my focus is on positive changes as well as on the challenges posed by declining monarch numbers.

Plenary Presenters
avatar for ​​Dr. Karen Oberhauser

​​Dr. Karen Oberhauser

University of Wisconsin – Madison Arboretum
Dr. Karen Oberhauser is the Director of the University of Wisconsin – Madison Arboretum, where she is continuing her 30 years of research on the biology and conservation of the monarch butterfly. She has initiated multiple “citizen science” projects, involving K-12 students... Read More →

Tuesday April 10, 2018 8:15am - 9:30am CDT
Adams Room