Presentation: Monarch Butterflies: To list or not to list?
Chair of the Department of Music and Performing Arts
701-252-3467 ext. 5026
Presented by Dr. Michelle Solensky, Professor of Biology
This event is free and open to the public.
Refreshments will be served.
Monarch butterflies: To list, or not to list, that is the question!
Monarchs have become a conservation icon in North America. They have been called an umbrella species, because efforts to protect their habitats will also help protect the many other species that share those habitats, including other pollinators, milkweed specialists, and animals that share their forested overwintering sites. After providing an overview of the monarch life cycle and migration, I will focus on monarch conservation. Several years ago, a group of scientists petitioned to have monarchs protected under the Endangered Species Act. This initiative followed the smallest overwintering population on record, from 20 years of estimates. The US Fish & Wildlife Service has been assessing the need for protection, and will make a listing decision in June of 2019. Data from the overwintering sites in Mexico have shown a small increase in the monarch population in the past few years, and data from a summer breeding citizen science project suggest that 2018 was a great year for monarch productivity. I’ll describe anthropogenic threats to monarchs and other organisms that share their habitats, and discuss potential implications of the upcoming listing decision.
Dr. Michelle Solensky has lived most of her life in the upper Midwest – she grew up in Jamestown, earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, and a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from the University of Minnesota. Her research has focused on monarchs, including their reproductive behavior, interactions with milkweed host plants and fly parasitoids, and local distribution and abundance. She teaches courses that include Animal Behavior, Invertebrate Zoology, Field Ecology of Costa Rica, and Human Anatomy and Physiology, and she is the Director of the Honors Program.
Next Faculty Fireside
Next Faculty Fireside
Linda W. Slaughter: How a Woman Won the West! Presented by Dr. Sean Flory, Professor of English
These events are sponsored by the Convocation Committee