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PLEASE NOTE: The schedule posted here is as of 1/25/16, and is subject to change. Please check back for updates.
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Wednesday, January 27 • 2:40pm - 3:00pm
A Monarch’s View of The City: Developing A Multi-City Landscape Conservation Design

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AUTHORS: Abigail Derby Lewis, Field Museum of Natural History; Rebecca Collings*, Field Museum of Natural History; Kristin Shaw*, Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers Landscape Conservation Cooperative

ABSTRACT: Monarch butterfly habitat—including milkweed host plants and nectar food sources—has declined drastically throughout most of the United States. Observed overwinter population levels have also exhibited a long-term downward trend that suggests a strong relationship between habitat loss and monarch population declines. Preliminary research results from a U.S. Geological Survey led effort suggest that we will need an “all hands on deck” conservation strategy that includes all land types to stabilize monarch populations at levels necessary to adequately minimize extinction risk—and urban areas will likely play a critical role. This project, an Ecological Places in Cities (EPIC) initiative, will help provide an understanding of the contribution urban areas can make to monarch conservation both from an ecological and a social perspective. In particular, this effort addresses questions such as how can we optimally utilize the various scales of urban life and landscape to create monarch habitat, and how do we best engage urban sectors (e.g., community organizations, education, transportation, health, utilities) as non-traditional conservation participants? The overall project is comprised of four components, including: 1) development of an Urban Monarch Conservation Framework that identifies strategies and design elements for habitat creation and community outreach, 2) development of city-based landscape conservation design to guide actions for the monarch butterfly in four cities that provide benefits both socially and ecologically, 3) implementation of demonstration projects based on the city-based landscape conservation design, and 4) a workshop that integrates individual landscape conservation designs into a cross-regional approach. Insights into the urban landscape conservation design process to date, strategies for outreach and monarch habitat designs at multiple scales, and preliminary geospatial tools will be shared.

Wednesday January 27, 2016 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST
Governors