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Where Have All the Monarchs Gone?

Karen OberhauserIf you have ever pondered this question, do not miss the presentation by Karen S. Oberhauser entitled Understanding Potential Impacts of Global Climate Change on Monarch Butterflies, Wednesday, September 3, 7 pm at the UUFDC. This evening is one of the Climate Change Coalition of Door County’s monthly presentations offered free to the public in order to raise awareness of and encourage action on the crucial issue of climate change.

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. Monarchs are negatively impacted by many human activities: habitat degradation and loss, pesticide use, climate change/global warming, vehicular collisions, invasive species, and pathogen spread have all been implicated in their dwindling numbers.

Karen will 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.  She will also summarize the potential impacts of a changing climate on monarchs during all stages of their annual cycle of breeding, migrating, and overwintering.

Karen Oberhauser is a Professor in the Dept. of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota, where she and her students conduct research on several aspects of monarch butterfly ecology. Karen is passionate about the conservation of the world’s biodiversity, and believes that the connections her projects promote between monarchs, humans, and the natural world promote meaningful conservation action. She is the chair of the Monarch Joint Venture, and a founding officer of the Monarch Butterfly Fund. In 2013, Karen received a White House Champion of Change award for her work with Citizen Science.

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