Marian MacNair

Student Speaker | Étudiant.e
Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) numbers have declined drastically in recent years. Given its remarkable migration across North America, the monarch has become an iconic species for conservationists. Reproduction in eastern Canada may be an important reservoir for the species, but the factors related to the distribution and reproduction of monarchs in the region are not well understood. I analysed community science data to identify monarch hot spots in eastern Ontario, and examined the relationship between monarch occurrence and landcover at the regional level. Field sampling was conducted to identify landcover, environment and plant community attributes related to juvenile abundance in urban and rural habitats. As organizations and individuals are increasingly managing habitats to attract and aid monarchs, this research will help delineate features that may be required to improve conditions for the butterfly here and elsewhere.