The direct and indirect effects of site suitability on Eastern monarch butterfly migratory populations

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Karen Keller Kesler (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Rick Bunch

Abstract: The purpose of this research was to relate the influence of site suitability variables to Eastern monarch butterfly migratory patterns and behavior. Weather, land use, and physical geography layers were input into a site suitability model using geographic information systems (GIS) to compare geocoded butterfly locations with site specific conditions. Elevation, temperature, precipitation, and land use data layers were overlaid to collectively consider how these variables affected the way that butterflies migrated, recolonized, and overwintered during the 2016/2017 migratory cycle. The variables were collected as individual raster layers which were reclassified into layers ranking suitability as either bad, good, or great with respective scores of one, three, or five. Map overlay methods were used to create a model weighting the variables equally, with a second model that individually weighted the variables allowing for variations in influence. The results of this study indicated that site suitability was a large driving factor for migratory monarchs with a heavier emphasis placed on average temperature and land/cropland use. Possible displaced and sink populations were identified for further study, while the effects of agriculture and climate change were considered regarding flyway connectivity and behavior.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Eastern Monarch Butterfly, GIS, Migration, Site Suitability
Monarch butterfly $x Migration
Monarch butterfly $x Wintering
Monarch butterfly $x Conservation

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