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Monday, April 9 • 4:30pm - 4:45pm
INSECT ECOLOGY: Niche Modeling of Eastern Monarch Butterfly Roadkill Mortality from Oklahoma to Mexico

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AUTHORS: James L Tracy, Tuula Kantola*, Mike Quinn, Robert N Coulson – Texas A&M University

ABSTRACT: Mortality from roadkill has been suggested to contribute the decline of the eastern migrating monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) population. Accordingly, our goal was to estimate monarch roadkill mortality during fall migration within the migration funnel from Oklahoma to Mexican overwintering sites. We surveyed for dead monarchs during four weeks of fall migration in 2016 and 2017. The surveys were conducted along roadways for 100 m transects throughout the Central Flyway in Texas. The highest monarch roadkill densities, ranging from 10 to 67 dead individuals per 100 m, were concentrated in the southern portion of the survey area along a 70 km stretch of Interstate 10 between Sheffield and Sonora, Texas in 2016. Out of 581 detected monarchs, about 62% were males. We developed and compared MaxEnt models for roadkill occurrences with 30 m and 1 km resolution for the survey area. The MaxEnt model with 1 km resolution was projected over the entire Oklahoma/Texas/Mexico funnel for the fall monarch migration. Important variables in the roadkill model included latitude and proximity to three different road types. Monarch mortality by roadkill may be highly variable between years. Projections of monarch roadkill throughout the Oklahoma/Texas/Mexico funnel may represent at least 5% of the overwintering population in Mexico in some years.

Monday April 9, 2018 4:30pm - 4:45pm CDT
LaSalle 2 (7th Floor)

Attendees (6)